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Black widows and chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by galaxyflyer1, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.

    I went into the coop tonight to check on my chicken door and saw a black widow very near where my chickens roost.
    My question is, will the black widow have any reason to bit a chicken while sleeping?

    Ive researched other posts but really have not found this answer.


  2. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Songster

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    Quote:If the chicken repositions itself it can get bit which will probably result in death Treat a BW as a normal predator and eradicate JMHO.
  3. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    I think the Black Widow needs to be more worried about your chickens than they about her. I don't think it would go out of it's way to bite them but they won't hesitate to make a tasty snack out of her.
  4. Seen my share of black widows and I agree. If the chickens touch its web it is more likely to bite them. Kill it and rid your coop of this pest.
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    I'd remove the spider. What could happen is if the web was connected to the roost and the chicken stepped on the web the spider might bite to get it to move. The other thing that could happen is while the spider is performing nightly web-repairs and moves onto the roost a chicken could step on it. If it weren't smashed, it could bite. Now, both of these scenarios would be very unlikely to happen, but it is a remote possibility. The spider doesn't "want" to bite the chicken. I'd put a stick into the web and twist it up like someone making cotton candy and that usually will get the spider. The other easy method is use a shop-vac. The first method is recommended because it will get any hidden egg sacs that you might miss just by smashing the spider or vacuuming it up.
  6. Kev

    Kev Crowing

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Corona! I'm right over by Sun City. [​IMG]

    There are millions black widows all over the inland empire. If I wanted to, could go outside and collect 15 in just a hour or 2 very easily(if anybody is shocked- they are EVERYWHERE in the county). Never had any issues as to them harming chickens. Just sweep down the webs and stomp on any you see (shoes, no sandals!).

    Also fine if chickens happen to find and eat one.
  7. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Songster

    I live in an area that has an overabundance of Black Widows. I find them everywhere: in my shed, in my coops, under the gas tank on my bar-b-que, under the hood of my truck, anywhere they can get to and hide.
    I've never seen a chicken eat one. I've never known about a bite to a chicken. But then some chickens do die unexpectedly occasionally. I suppose it could be spider related, never really thought about it that way. I do kill every Black Widow I come across, more worried about my little dog coming into contact with them. (OR my hand [​IMG])

  8. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.
    Thanks everyone. Makes me think that perhaps the 1 year old hen I lost a few months ago could have been bitten? Not sure what the symptoms are but she was sick (weak and tired) for 2 days before she died. The others are fine. I only have 4 hens and try to take good care of them.

    I will go black widow hunting!
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  9. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    I would kill it, so it can do no harm or reproduce plus you dont have a web in there anymore. So your coop stays nice and clean. I am really weird about that tho. I keep all spiders out of my coop, i just like it clean in there, even tho i don't think my girls and boy seem to mind the spiders or there webs. LOL
  10. I just want to give folks a bit of info about L. hesperus, which is the species of widow we have here in California . . .
    I feel I am qualified, as over the last 3 years I have bred thousands of them, selling them wholesale to a guy back in the midwest, as our species is the most sought after among aracnophiles(spider enthusiasts)

    A black widow does NOT want to bite you . . .
    It is a major tax on its body to produce its venom, which is nasty and will rot a hole in you [​IMG]
    It injects very minute amounts into its prey items, just enough to almost kill it, we are talking about a bug here.
    A black widow would much rather run away and hide than bite, believe me.
    I have had them crawl up, over, and across my arms and hands, into my shirts, and even down my collar while trying to capture mature females.
    I really ticked some of them off, and Ive never once been bitten . . .

    L. hesperus has extremely small mouth parts and it would really be an extreme effort on the spiders part to deliver a bite that is even capable of injecting venom.

    Imo- a black widow that lives around your home is wayyyyyyyy more beneficial to you than it does harm.
    They find out-of-the-way places near a source of food(BUGS [​IMG] ), and trap pesty insects like flies and mosquitos in their webs.
    They do the same thing in a chicken coop, with everybody always wondering how to keep the flies down, I always want to suggest making nooks and crannys for spiders to hide in.

    Like I said, Ive handled, fed, and kept them in small delicups by the thousands while raising them to a shippable size, Ive handled them, Ive had them escape and run up my sleeve, Ive actively hunted and captured them, and I never once have been bit.
    I have 3 really big females that live near my porch light, and I smile everytime I get a chance to see them out hunting in their webs.

    The Black Widow is your friend, I swear [​IMG]

    Oh, and your chickens can and will eat them with no ill effects, but L. hesperus is nocturnal whereas chickens are diurnal . . .
    I can do a video feeding if you like . . .

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