Ants eating chickens alive!!
holy crap..a 13 lb rooster eaten alive by ants? the only thing i cant think organic and what i would do is completely empty and clean the coop and nesting boxes with ACV and then add new straw and shavings with a hardy does of diatomaceous earth(D.E.) in the nesting boxes and the whole perimeter of the coop anywhere they could get in... we have a serious ant problem here where i live but they are harmless little black ants..no red ones.. D.E. works wonders on our indoor ants though and we sprinkled it under the house, all over the outside perimeter of the house and inside in any cracks and crevices that ants could get in... also, maybe make sure you dont get any feed onto the ground..dont throw out scratch or give them loose scraps on the ground.. keep their food a bit off the ground maybe in a raised feeder and sprinkle the D.E.in the food ...it does take awhile for the D.E. to kill off the ants but if you buy a huge bag of it at the feed store( here it is around 60.00 and they feed it to cows so you can get a huge bag ) but after a few days of sprinkling it around our whole house and inside our ants have almost all died off..except for when the kids leave food out they somehow find a way in..that is why i said perhaps make sure there are no food scraps on the floor in the coop and sprinkle the D.E. on their food. it works by shredding their exoskeletons so they will not be able to get far once they hit the barrier of it... man, i still cant believe it a 13 lb chicken eaten by ants!!!!!!!!! hope you find something that works...DE is my best friend around here for ALL hard shelled bugs
Have you tried boric acid? It comes in a powder or chalk. It is poisonous to chickens so you will want to move them out. Clean the coop and use the powder to kill the existing ants. The chalk can be used to draw barriers around windows and doorways.
I used to have some of the chinese chalk (boric acid-dont think it even had a brand name) years ago to treat for cockroaches. It was very effective. Not sure if they sell that kind anymore but HomeDepot carries a brand from BlackFlag thats similar.
I was told GRITS. The ants love it & take it back to the nest, they eat it & supposedly swell up & die, but not supposed to hurt chickens & can be used around/in garden.
You might check on your housekeeping in the area. It seems unlikely that the ants are coming just for the chickens. They might be there for something else and bother the chickens in the process.
Does the coop sit on the ground? Elevating it might help.
It might sound extreme, but building a moat around the coop would keep them out. Most common ants cannot swim.
You might try to track down the hills and destroy them.
Must be frustrating indeed.
Vegetable oil or any type of oil on those ant hills will kill them. When I was a child, mom was cleaning out the fridge and gave me the bottle of castor oil to throw out. Boy was I glad to throw that nasty stuff out. I took it outside and dumped it on one of those underground ant nest that south Texas is so famous for. Next day, those nasty biting critters were laying dead everywhere.
Cornmeal is supposed to be good for getting rid of ants (leave some out, they eat it, and then it swells inside their digestive organs). Also, if you know where their nest is pouring boiling water into it should help get rid of them.
- Anachronistic Anomaly
Wow! It sounds like you have a massive amount of ants and a big problem if they did in a 13lb roo! If I were you, I'd call an exterminator, if for no other reason than to identify what kind of ants they are and where they are coming from (where is their home/ant mound). Because if they are fire ants, you've got a task ahead of you that organic treatments may not cut. Regardless, find the ant mound and destroy it or you're fighting a losing battle.