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Black Ants in Brooder House

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CBrumit, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. CBrumit

    CBrumit Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Texas
    About 10 years ago we converted part of the barn into poultry housing. The barn no floor and is on sand. One stall is the hen house and the next is the brooder house. The brooder house was unused for about four months between hatchlings. Now we are ready to put the pullets in the brooder house but have found black ants with a huge nest.

    The ants are going under the wall into the hen house and picking up the food the chickens spill on the floor to take back to their nest.

    We thought it would be enough to simply open up the brooder house to allow the older Australorp pullets to go in and eat the ants. This has been some what effective because they are severely decreased in numbers showing up top. However every night the ants empty the sand out of their nest. While there are fewer each day, it is taking a long time.

    We need to put the month old birds (15 chickens, 4 ducks, and 24 guinea) in the brooder house ASAP. When we do that we will have to close the door between them and the older birds. We worry that the ants will refortify their numbers and attack the baby birds.

    The ant nest is in the middle of the brooder house so we can't really keep the birds out of it.

    What should we do?

    Thank you!
     
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    If there were some way to build a moat around the feeding area, the ants would be blocked from the food.

    There are myriad methods of controlling ants. Look all over the internet. There are likely some that use things that are not poisonous. It might be worth trying some of them.

    The ants are going to be difficult to remove since they have a ready source of food.

    Chris
     
  3. CBrumit

    CBrumit Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Texas
    Yeah, we have been looking. It seems the problems others have is the ants coming and going to the chicken coop. I haven't found where people have dealt with the actual ant nest in the brooder house.

    It's just that the chicks have outgrown their brooder cage and really need to go to the brooder house. The cage is starting to be an unhealthy place for them and the amount of time to clean it is getting to be too much. Normally they are in the brooder house by now.

    Will black ants that eat chicken food will also eat the chicks?
     
  4. CBrumit

    CBrumit Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Texas
    Well, for those who are interested in what to do about ant nests in the brooder house, our solution was more simple than expected. Every morning and every night my husband stomped the nest closed. Every day the ants cleared them out. They spent a great deal of time doing this, so much that they didn't have time to make trips to the chicken feeder to gather food.

    In the mean time, we put the new birds (ducks, chickens and guinea) into the brooder house. The guinea ate every ant they saw.

    The stomping was to keep the ants from getting at the birds during the night while they slept.

    Over a period of a week the ants just disappeared. We're not sure if they just up and moved, starved out, or were decimated by the guinea.

    These were NOT fire ants. I don't know if this would have worked with fire ants, or any other type of ants.

    I doubt this would have been such a problem if the chicken house had a wood floor instead of sand.
     

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