Chickens vs. Red Ants = Who?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Parson's Wife, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Parson's Wife

    Parson's Wife Blessed Abundantly

    Jan 22, 2008
    Arkansas
    I have red ants (or fire ants) troubles here....when they get on you, they come enmasse! You don't just get one or two...they swarm you. [​IMG]
    They pop up everywhere....you try to kill out one hill, they divide an form two more 10ft away!

    My worry is....will the chickens eat them? Or will they hurt the chickens? [​IMG]
     
  2. gila_dog

    gila_dog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2007
    New Mexico
    I'll bet that they would hurt your chickens, if the chickens couldn't avoid them. Those things are real monsters.

    I poisoned a couple red harvester ant hills once. These are nasty little creeps, but not as dangerous as real fire ants. The poison worked pretty good. All ants dead in no time. Then I noticed my chickens dieing horrible deaths. When I started watching I saw that they were picking up grit from the ant hills, and must have also been picking up poison too. It was pretty awful.

    So I never poison ant hills where my chickens can get to them anymore. There are lots of methods for killing ants. Some gasoline dumped down the hole works pretty good. When I was a kid I decided to wipe out a red ant hill so I dropped a big flat peice of flag stone on top of it. After a few days they had repaired the damage to their tunnels and had built their world around that rock. So then I took a basketball and started dribbling it on the rock. They swarmed out and onto the rock by the thousands. Bap, bap, bap, they got smashed into a gooey mess, until they just ran out of ants. After a few days some more showed up and I repeated the assault. Maybe one more time after that and the ant hill was dead. What great fun! [​IMG] ...
    at least until one crawled up my pants leg and bit the %$#@ out of me!
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I think they wouldn't be so good for them but if they don't bite and swarm, you should be fine. The ants up here are tame and unless you stand in their 3 foot tall hill... no problem. However, if the ant issue is a big one where you are and they swarm and so on, it would be best to rid of them. Ants can kill chicks and hatching chicks no problem.
     
  4. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    I have a large fire ant hill in one corner of my chicken pen. I can tell Brandy does not like the taste of them and she avoids the area. I have recently treated that bed and the MANY fire ant beds in my vegetable garden with food grade Diatomaceous Earth. I checked the beds the day after application and all but 2 of 11 seem inactive today. The other two are partially dead, but there is evidence of new bed activity at the perimeter of those two beds. Custom Milling has the best price on a 50lb. bag. Since it is food grade, it is fine for the chickens to eat! I hope it works well on fire ant beds in general, because a huge portion of my budget has been used each spring through winter on AMDRO which is EXPENSIVE!!!! I miss Diazanon. It was effective if applied in spring before the night time temps reached 50 degrees and safe in the vegetable garden. Since they don't make it anymore, until I discovered the food grade DE, it was really dangerous in the vegetable garden! AMDRO seems to be about 75% effective, but it is so expensive and a jug doesn't go far on 5 acres. My family elders have always said that nothing will ever be done about fire ants until they have them in Washington, D.C.! [​IMG]
     
  5. ZuniBee

    ZuniBee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2007
    Zuni, Virginia
    Not sure what the chickens would do but when we raised ostrich the chicks would eat the ants and get bit in the throat. They would have a bad reaction with swollen throats and die. The way we learned to cure this problem was to give a few drops of children's Benadryl. They would be back to normal within 20 to 30 minutes.

    Not trying to scare you just wanted you to know what the treatment was if they tried to eat them.....
     
  6. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    I've had pretty good luck using Amdro; to protect the chickens & all other animals. I put a cinder block over the nest, drop the Amdro inside the cinder block, and cover the hole in the block with whatever-a board weighed down with a rock, usually. A few weeks later I will take the block off, and just to be on the safe side, dig out the top of the nest and discard the dirt in case it still has residual poison in it. So far, I haven't lost any chickens to the Amdro or ants.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2008
  7. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * I try a lot of non-toxics ideas. EQUAL for baking works marginally well-- but is expensive. Best trick was white grits put out a day or so before a rain. Fire ants eat the grits, drink when it rains and explode.
     
  8. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    d.k :

    * I try a lot of non-toxics ideas. EQUAL for baking works marginally well-- but is expensive. Best trick was white grits put out a day or so before a rain. Fire ants eat the grits, drink when it rains and explode.

    [​IMG] I tried that, but all that I noticed were fatter fire ants! [​IMG]
     
  9. Parson's Wife

    Parson's Wife Blessed Abundantly

    Jan 22, 2008
    Arkansas
    Thank you for your info.
    My husband has bought several poisons...one stinks so bad you gag while your tossing the powder...we are going to treat the front and backyard area as soon as this last rain/snow passes.
    We are just trying to figure out what to purchase. Or method to use. I have never delt with 'ants' like this. [​IMG]
    I have developed a hatred since my 3 year old son was swarmed last summer....24 stings just on his foot alone....he was fine, ice packs, benedryl, and the doctor said just watch out for them....HOW? [​IMG] They are everywhere....sorry, ranting...
    I know they torment us and the dogs...sooo with chicks going outside in the next few weeks...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2008
  10. Yogiman

    Yogiman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2008
    South Louisiana

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