Are Tomato Hornworms Toxic to Chicks, Or Not?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KidDynamite, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 7, 2011
    Hi Folks,

    there have been a number of threads on the subject of feeding the big ugly green tomato hornworms to chickens. Most people say their chicks love the hornworms, but in almost every thread there's someone who says that the worms are toxic, as a result of feeding on tomato plants.

    Has anyone had bad experiences feeding these beasts to their chickens? Also, my chicks are only 5 1/2 weeks old if that matters- but seemed to have very little trouble devouring the smaller horn worms. I don't want to poison them by accident, though.

    other factors to consider: I have big hornworms, and my chicks are not full grown yet. Is there any risk from either 1)the horn on the hornworm or 2) the legs/teeth of the hornworm harming the chicks' insides?

    thanks in advance.

    I have 3 BR, 3 BO, 3Aracauna, and 3 NH Reds
  2. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    hornworms are a large caterpillars [​IMG] they should be just fine for your chickens [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Mine LOVED tomato worms when they were chicks, playing tug of war with them which was the funniest sight ever. They're not at all toxic.
  4. captwalker

    captwalker Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 25, 2011
    No they're not toxic but I just read in a magazine that these disgusting creatures actually turn into the hummingbird moth, which I think are beautiful. I may not kill all of them. But the chickens do love them almost as much as the japanese beetles I give them.
  5. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    I feed them to my chicks, first time they were afraid of them, but didn't take them long to grab one up and then it was a free for all.
  6. TroutsChicks

    TroutsChicks Fluffy Stuffins

    Jun 5, 2011
    baxter Tn
    my chickens wont eat japanese beetles!!! boooooo But they LOVE horn worms i gave them 14 in one day, i feel bad that they turn into something cool and then look at my tomatoes!!!! [​IMG]
    They are still alive, and they loooove tomatoes and they even pick at the plants the little vultures! [​IMG]
  7. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Been feeding the group hornworms with no ill affects. But only found 2 this year,good for the tomatoes bad for the girls,sorry no pistachio worms ladies!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  8. Madamegato

    Madamegato Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2011
    ABQ, NM
    I just had the most entertaining two seconds of my life!!!

    My 3-week-olds snatched a small hornworm out of my hand and went off to the races trying to play keep-away. HA HA HA! [​IMG]

    I love these little ladies! [​IMG]
  9. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Not toxic. I have also fed my gals tomato plants and they loved them and aren't any worse for wear [​IMG]
  10. 1livelychick

    1livelychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2010
    Mine won't go near them. I've picked them off the tomato plants and thrown them on the girls come running...look at the horned worms, peck at the worm then run the other way!
    Thought for sure they would love such luck! [​IMG]

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