Can I feed my chickens rollie-pollies?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CheekyBabies, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. CheekyBabies

    CheekyBabies New Egg

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    Our veggie garden is infested with rollie-pollies. Can I toss them into the chicken run or is there any reason the chickens shouldn't eat these pests? The chickens are only about 7 weeks old if that matters.

    And if any gardeners know how to get rid of rollie-pollies naturally, other than hand picking them out, please let me know!

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Aschenfire

    Aschenfire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Uhhhhhh if you are talking about pill bugs, they really are doing no harm to your garden. They are scavengers...they eat rotting vegetation and mold and such, nothing like leaves or produce. I'm sure your chicks *could* eat them, I'm just not sure why you want to get rid of them...
     
  3. CheekyBabies

    CheekyBabies New Egg

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    I keep reading online that they are scavengers and not to worry about them. But our experience is they do eat seedlings and are destroying a number of plants in the garden. They've eaten all of my basil plants, most of the cucumber seedlings, potato plants, strawberries, etc... There is a lot of compost, mulch, leaves and other dead matter but they are often on the plant leaves and chewing away.
    If I have to pick them off one by one I was hoping it was safe to feed them to the chickens. At least someone would be happy!
     
  4. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure it is the rollie pollies doing the damage? If so how do you know? Slugs and snails can do alot of damage especially at night while you arent in the garden. Also dampening off can happen and kill seedlings quick! I have never known a rollie pollie to be a threat in the garden. I would investigate futher and quick before your garden is gone! As for feeding them to chicks...sorry I don't know.
     
  5. CheekyBabies

    CheekyBabies New Egg

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    I've gone our just before dawn to look for slugs and snails and haven't found any or noticed any tracks. There are literally hundreds of rollie-pollies and they are actually crawling on the plants and often right next to a hole in a leaf. We've had them in the past but no where near this many and they hadn't been a problem before. I am fairly certain it is the rollie-pollies but I will put out plates of beer or what not to see if I can catch any slugs.
     
  6. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rolly Pollys, or pill bugs, are actually crustaceans and not bugs at all. Good luck getting chickens to eat them...none of mine will and neither will my daughter's. They just plain don't like them!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess you could always go out with a pail of water and throw them in everyday to cut down the numbers and see if it gets rid of the problem. I pick the japanese beetles off of my crepe myrtles everyday to keep them from killing my trees. Other then dusting your plants with pesticide, which no one wants to do. It would be worth a try. When the gardening year is over you should turn the chickens out into the garden and see if they could help you control the bug populatiion for the next year. PUT THEM TO WORK! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My chickens don't eat them. Once in a while hen will pick one up and try it, but spits it back out. So no, I don't think chickens are the disposal method you're looking for.
     
  9. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just thinking that the chickens scratching and digging around in the soil would disturb the rollie pollies,by turning all the organic material. I don't know how Rollie pollies reproduce ...maybe the chickens would eat the babies? I did look up rollie pollies on "garden web" that I go to sometimes. It does say they are supposed to be harmless in the garden, however ALOT of people said they are DESTROYING their gardens! It sounded like they will destroy seedlings..once the plant is passed the seedling stage the rollie pollies don't want them anymore. I think I would apply a pesticide....I NEVER want apply anything like that in the garden...but somethimes you don't have any choice.
     
  10. Aschenfire

    Aschenfire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You know, I happened to think, I am almost certain the little rolly pollies have a nasty taste (I prolly saw that on some show or read it somewhere) that would explain why the chicklets won't eat them. Hopefully it is snails that are wrecking havoc and not them. I like the funny little things! :D
     

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