Can 2 week old chicks eat Christmas Beetles?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cotton Eye Jo, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Cotton Eye Jo

    Cotton Eye Jo New Egg

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    Dec 15, 2012
    Hello fellow chicken-lovers, I'm a new member from Australia who has just adopted 3 Isa Brown chicks. I think they are about 2 weeks old. They are feathered but have tiny tail feathers. They are eating mostly crumble, and a little plain yogurt and bits of green leafy vegetables. We have had an influx of christmas beetles around our house and some have flown into the chicks' brooder and settled into the shavings/litter on the floor. I can tell every time a chick digs one out because they cheep like mad and chase each other around. It's very cute but I'm worried that the chicks may be injured if they actually swallow one of these beetles. The beetles have quite rough legs and tough shells and can pry their way out of my closed fist. I have been letting the chicks have a run around and play with the beetles before removing the beetle from the brooder.

    Could the chicks be harmed by swallowing them?

    Also, I haven't bought any grit as yet and I'm not sure if the crumble has any in it. Do they need grit if they are eating bugs? If so, can it wait several hours until tomorrow morning?

    Thanks and I look forward to your response.
     
  2. Cotton Eye Jo

    Cotton Eye Jo New Egg

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    Dec 15, 2012
    I just realized that Christmas Beetles are Australian so many of you may not be familiar with them. I guess they could be compared with the Japanese Beetle...
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    We had a lot of Christmas beetles around and the chickens did chase them and mess with them, but they didn't eat them. They loves cockroaches and moths and flies though! I understand your concern about the beetles' legs. Those things are vicious! I think you should continue removing them from the brooder as and when you find them.

    If you do feed your chicks bugs they should eat some grit also. Chick crumbs don't have any grit in it. You can sprinkle some grit over their food or offer it in a separate dish and if you can't find chick grit, coarse sand works just as well.
     

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