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3 week old chick ate Black Widow Spider!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by heybarb, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. heybarb

    heybarb Songster

    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    Yesterday afternoon while free-ranging, mama found a tasty treat which she promptly shared with her chicks! One ran in, grabbed it and dashed off. Everyone followed. There was such a commotion that I got closer to check it out and sure enough, that itty bitty was trying to eat a GIANT black widow spider! You could see the hourglass on it's tummy. I tried to get it from the chick, but then I realized that even if I caught it, I couldn't exactly grab the spider, not to mention I couldn't catch that chick any better then her brothers & sisters could! I was worried sick about her last night, but this morning she is doing just fine!

    So, do chicks & chickens know what they can and can't eat? Or is it purely luck that my itty bitty is fine this morning?

  2. PFSfarmer

    PFSfarmer Chirping

    Sep 25, 2012
    My Coop

    I dont have an answer for you, but I will say I have killed a few more black widow spiders this year than usual.

    Curious to know the outcome on this.
  3. DaikaijuTorira

    DaikaijuTorira In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2012
    Bradenton, Florida
    We never had a problem with the chickens or ducks eating black or brown widow spiders. The chickens seemed especially fond of them. I'd find them checking any spot where the spiders might be hiding during the day on a regular basis, even under my car.

    Whether they know what they can or can't eat seems iffy. For the most part, I think yes, especially with naturally occurring things. I've seen them devour one type of mushroom while leaving another type right next to it completely alone. I think there must be something that tells them this one is ok while that one is not.

    Unless the spider manages to bite and inject venom, not likely but could happen, there shouldn't be a problem.
  4. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    By the time they eat an insect or arachnid, it's pulverized and has no chance of biting them. The mama hen probably killed it before handing it over. And, since spiders have venom, not poison, eating a dead spider is not dangerous.

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