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Can chicks eat too many Japanese beetles? Not enough crumbles?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by brandywine, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    My 15 layer chicks will be four weeks old tomorrow. They aren't out free-ranging yet -- maybe in two weeks. For the past week they've been big enough to enjoy a once or twice a day treat of Japanese beetles. I'm not making a dent in the beetle population here, and now am gathering a LOT of beetles, like several hundred, in ten or fifteen minutes. Some of them are getting enough beetles that their crops are bulging after the highly entertaining bedlam.

    Can they get too many beetles?

    Anyone know the protein content and general nutrient profile of a Japanese beetle? Does anyone publish a guaranteed analysis of noxious bugs?

    I'm also giving them some scratch as treats, and kind of figured that the extra bug protein would balance out the low protein of the scratch grain.

    Also, in four weeks they have not finished a 20# bag of Dumor starter/grower -- despite one occasion of help from the least intelligent of my dogs, followed by the Long Night O' The Explosive Intestines. (So, I don't know how much chick food the silly beast got, but, enough to send a medium-sized German shepherd out to the kennel for the night.) Are they eating enough of their starter? It looks to me like we'll break into the second bag sometime in the middle of next week.

    They seem to be growing well. I have one New Hamp with two crooked toes that showed up when she was about a week old -- gave her some vitamins and she has not gotten worse. Everyone else is normal and all are active and seem happy.
  2. 12 Acres

    12 Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oak Harbor, OH
    I don't see how letting them eat as many beetles as they can could hurt them any. Beetles not only contain protein, but their hard outer shells contain minerals such as calcium that are good for chooks. Let 'em out of their pen so they can catch the beetles themselves! They're great pest control! [​IMG]
  3. rdranch

    rdranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2007
    If you want to get rid of Japanese beetles in your area try a product called "MILKY SPORE". It is a bacterial product that kills the grubs when they are underground. Totally safe for the girls.
  4. lapamato

    lapamato New Egg

    Aug 4, 2008
    Despite some advice against Japanese beetle traps, I have two. And it has helped with the beetles on my grapes and blueberries. I swap out the bags every evening, hanging two empty bags and putting the nearly full bags in a sealed bucket in the freezer overnight. Then the next evening I empty the dead beetles and repeat.

    My brain finally kicked in so I have the essentially the same question, Is there a way to feed these things? I've probably dumped five gallons!! of beetles in the past several weeks. Do they need to be alive? I would have too many to feed at this point. They don't seem to stink sealed in the freezer, so I could store them if dead is ok. (four kids-i've had worse things in my freezer)

    Right now my son is feeding broilers for a 4-H project, they are just three weeks old and started pretty well. We will have them for about five more weeks. Are these beetles good protein? How would you balance out the ration? I'm hesitating because of the 'for the fair' aspect and the age of the birds.

    Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.
  5. Rosebud75

    Rosebud75 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2008
    I remember having to freeze bugs for insect collections in school. What an idea to freeze pests for use during winter?
  6. fullhouse

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    I would think bugs would be a great boost for broilers.
  7. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Before feeding the beetles to the broilers in large amounts, I'd see if I could find out what their calorie and nutrient profile is, especially if you are otherwise restricting your broilers' access to feed.

    I don't think there is any issue with taking them to the Fair. There's no pathogens that can come from the beetles, and it's not cheating -- just free calories and protein.

    Frozen and dead are FINE. Sometimes mine are pretty thoroughly drowned when I feed the chooks, and no complaints.

    Love the idea of freezing them for winter treats!

    And as a search and rescue dog handler, I can guarantee that I have far worse things in my freezer than has anyone else here who is not a coroner or medical investigator.

    (It is, however, a special freezer that will never have food in it again.)
  8. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Hah -- I tried some creative googling.

    No data on Japanese beetles specifically, but here's nutritional info for some insects:


    I bet the Japanese beetles would have a similar profile to the dung beetles (JB's are another kind of scarab)

    Back to google ...

    Okay, here's more -- an abstract on using crickets as part of a broiler diet!


    And on feeding various insects to zoo animals:

    http://www.nagonline.net/Technical ...

    And here's a whole page of links on human bug-eating, which I haven't time to explore just now:

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  9. lapamato

    lapamato New Egg

    Aug 4, 2008
    I appreciate the thoughts, and thanks for the links! You are good on the googling.[​IMG]

    The beetle traps are slowing down for this year and I think my son has decided to just give them as treats. He has the ration all figured out, and then usually has to cut them back at the end so they don't go over weight.

    Next year we can evaluate before i dump so many bugs.
  10. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    My chickens dont like the taste of japanese beetles but will eat other bugs [​IMG] SPOILED

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