Chickens eating ants plus ants in the food

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Rodeislandred23, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. Rodeislandred23

    Rodeislandred23 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2016
    Lower al
    Hi, my chickens are eating ants off of the grass out side is that ok for them? Plus I had their feeder on the ground and ants got in it. :/ So I sat it off of the ground and ants haven't gotten in there yet but if they do what do I need to do? Thanks for all the help!:)
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  2. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I have a hanging feeder in the coop. The only food they get outside is scratch and greens tossed on the ground. GC[​IMG]
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I think it is fine for them to eat ants. Another source of protein. Sometimes some of the firewood I bring home has these large black ants nesting in hollows on the inside. When I run the firewood through the splitter the ants come spilling out and the chickens scoop them up!
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I guess you either love to eat ants or not - maybe it is an acquired taste. If it doesn't hurt them it's a good thing.
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] glad you have joined us.

    Eating ants is OK, but do keep the food hanging so they don't have to eat ants when they want chicken food:)
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - thanks for joining us. If they enjoy them - they must be fine. My birds eat dead geckos like they are caviar, so I'm sure live ants are fine. To get rid of ants from the feeder - put the feeder in the hot sun (of course, that assuming it is hot and sunny) - that usually clears them pretty quickly.

    Best wishes
  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  8. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC. It's great to have you!

    Ants should be fine for them to eat.
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC!

    Most ants have odor so strong, many chickens won't eat them however some do. Ants can carry parasites as well. I deter ants from getting in my chickens feed. If they are coming in the run, I will spray the perimeter of the coop and run with ant spray, being careful not to get any in the run or in areas the birds may get into. For outdoor feeders, you can set the food containers in a low pan of water so it acts as a moat to keep the ants out. Ants can become a real nuisance and shouldn't be allowed to over run the place. If you live in an area with Fire Ants, regular ants can attract Fire Ants as Fire Ants eat native ants and once you start in with the mounds of Fire Ants, you can never get rid of them. Fire Ants are poisonous to human and poultry alike.

    You might post in our predators and pest section for ideas on how to rid your feed of ants...

    Good luck and welcome to our flock!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016

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