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Box Elder Bugs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MagsC, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    Minnesota
    Do your chicks like box elder bugs? In another thread it was mentioned that chickens wont eat them because of the taste, but our chicks, especially the couple older ones, LOVE them! So much they play keep away from the others in order to not share their "treat",lol.[​IMG]
    The other question is, is there any way these would be bad for them? I cant think of anything but maybe someone knows something I am unaware of.
     
  2. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Songster

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    Sep 9, 2008
    we also have box elder bugs (box elder county, go figure) and I was wondering the same thing, I cant seem to find an answer because there seems to be some confusion between a box elder bug and what is called a firebug. I dont believe they are actually the same thing, and I have read that firebugs are not good.
    My guess is that they are ok. If they are free range, in an area like this, there is no way to control whether or not they eat them, other than their own preference, and there are times when we are overrun (thousands) here with box elder bugs, so I cant imagine that they are a bad thing, or the chicken community, so to speak, in our area would be aware of it, and I certainly would have heard something about that.
    I can tell you that there are box elder bugs everywhere here, after a hatch, but none in the chicken yards, so I think this is an indication that my birds are eating them, with no ill effects.
     
  3. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    Minnesota
    Thats what I thought, as many as there are around if they were bad for chickens someone would have said something! Mine also like the Japanese beetles.[​IMG]
     
  4. 12 Acres

    12 Acres Songster

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Oak Harbor, OH
    Some of my chooks will eat them but it's definitely an acquired taste! [​IMG]
     
  5. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster 10 Years

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    Idaho/Utah
    12 Acres, hatching eggs from your chooks' would sell like hotcakes around here! It's hard to believe the quantities of box elder bugs we've had the last couple years. [​IMG] I haven't seen our free-rangers eat any [​IMG] but they are eager to snag grasshoppers [​IMG]
     
  6. 12 Acres

    12 Acres Songster

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Oak Harbor, OH
    Quote:Why do you say that? Unfortunately, I wouldn't have any pure eggs because my rooster is a Hamburg. But he's a lovely roo and a good protector.

    Now if only they would eat those nasty Asian lady beetles that bite! :mad:
     
  7. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster 10 Years

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    May 25, 2008
    Idaho/Utah
    I think people around here would love to have animals that would keep the box elder population down [​IMG] However, not a whole lot of people keep chickens around here. People that do aren't very selective about where they get their chickens from, so in practical reality probably wouldn't bother to send for special chicks. But if you lived close, I'll bet you could sell them at a premium [​IMG]
     
  8. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    Minnesota
    LOL, at least the biggest chick I have likes those Asian beetles (what we call Japanese beetles).
     
  9. 12 Acres

    12 Acres Songster

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    OK, thanks for clarifying. I do know that the cricket population on our property isn't nearly what it was last year! [​IMG]

    I was fully expecting a huge Japanese beetle invasion this fall like last year but I hardly saw any at all. I'm not sure why. As for the Asian lady beetles, they look just like our native ladybugs but they have different shades of orange/red and their spots aren't the same either. They bite really hard and I think the birds don't eat them because they give off a bitter tasting substance in self defense.
     
  10. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    Minnesota
    I wasnt sure if any of ours would touch them because of the smell/taste they give off. I might be wrong but I think the box elders give a type of odor/taste off too? But it hasnt seemed to bother the big chick.
     

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