Bugs in my oats -- what do you think?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jtbrown, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. jtbrown

    jtbrown Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    I got a bag of oats a few months ago and cut them in with my unmedicated chick food for my ducks. So, I had transferred them into an airtight Rubbermaid container and have been using it in with scratch.

    Yesterday, I opened the oats and dumped a couple of scoops into my scratch bin (also airtight pet food container, holds 50 + pounds and is about 1/2 full). As I mixed it in, I found what I intially thought was a "spider." (I jumped, I really don't like spiders). It looked like a dog tick with a smaller body, but very fast compared to ticks. Also found white worms, look like white small meal worms.

    Any ideas what it is? I have never had a feed infestation before. I looked up mealie bugs -- they don't look like that and no "spiderweb" areas in grain. I really only rarely use scratch (my first bag lasted nearly a year -- I just use an 8 ounce cup full every once in a while to have the girls dig up/turn their bedding for me). I keep all of my food in rubbermade (type) containers and I didn't notice the bugs before in the oats, I guess they grew there once they had set for a while.

    Thanks for any input. Also -- what do you think about feeding them the food? Do I take it in to the woods near my husband's deer stand (months away from hunting season) and dump it?
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    A couple thoughts come to mind.

    A few bugs; I don't think are much of a problem.

    But if it is an infestation, I'd be concerned about the nutrition of the buggy feed, and that bugs do poop. For either reason I would not feed seriously infested food.

    Freezing might stop the little critters in their tracks.

    Imp- Good Luck.
  3. tallgrass

    tallgrass In the Brooder

    Jan 6, 2012
    Chickens are prehistoric i heard. Feed the oats and bugs to the chickens.
  4. jtbrown

    jtbrown Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    Thanks guys, I have to admit, I kind of made the decision to feed them the feed over the weekend. [​IMG] No dead chickens yet. Then I decided it would be good to ask, since I really haven't dealt with this before. If you had said "NO WAY" I would dispose of it. My family and I were (for once) home over the weekend, so the birds free ranged the entire time. So, I saved on feed and then threw a bunch of the scrappy stuff out for them to pick up in the run and they free ranged the rest of it. They loved it.

    I will probably just feed them the scratch out in their run or in the driveway and keep the buggy feed sealed and not mix it, I dont' want it to spread to other containers of feed (duck, guinea, chick, and laying mash). I have bunches of sealed containers sitting around. I also am careful, they don't sit when I bring them home from the feed store.

    Anyway, Thanks again. Jen
  5. terryg

    terryg Songster

    Jun 5, 2007
    New England
    I'm sure the chickens will enjoy the bugs. However, some bugs can spread disease and internal parasites, like the black beetles that live in the moist shady areas near the barn. That's why I remove the manure and compost it away from the chickens - to break the cycle. I'd think, though, that buggy oats wouldn't have that problem. Also, don't feed if the grain is also compromised by mold or damp. That can make the chickens seriously ill. For more about sensible feeding you might want to read this: http://hencam.com/faq/what-to-feed-your-chickens/
    You might want to investigate where you buy your grain. One store near me has an ongoing problem with a moth infestation. I see them even on the bins of dog biscuits! Needless to say, I don't buy feed there.

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