Chicks and bugs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by greenpixies, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. greenpixies

    greenpixies In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2011
    Natchitoches, LA

    My 14 chicks (6 weeks old) will be moving outside tomorrow. I have been concerned about insects and have not been able to find much info about this. Here is what I understand so far: chicks and chickens enjoy eating various insects.

    O.K., that said, here are a bunch of my newbie concerns and questions:
    Are there insects that will cause danger to my chicks?
    The area where their pen is has a lot of mosquitoes and ticks (they hide out in the tall running bamboo in the corner of the yard: two sides of the pen). I imagine chicks can eat ticks (we believe the tick problem is related to the many birds that roost and nest in the bamboo grove), but will they find them on each other or do we need to check them regularly?
    Being that there are mosquito problems, are the chicks going to be more likely to catch avian flu or any other such disease? Is there anything that we can do to help with this?
    Today while working on the pen, I found 2 huge beatles, are any large insects poisonous to chickens?

    Any and all feedback is appreciated Thanks!

  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Mosquitoes are a problem, and ticks can be as well. Personally, I am concerned about all bugs that routinely bite or sting any sort of animal larger than they are. Especially ones that are active at night when chickens sleep.
  3. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Now I've been told chickens will take all the ticks off your place. I that not so.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Interesting questions. Yes, chickens will eat ticks. Will they groom each other and find them? Maybe. I would not worry about ticks. I occasionally pick up a tick when walking through the grass and weeds, though since I got chickens, that happens a lot less frequently. My broodies take their chicks in the weeds and all over. A tick that had sucked a little blood would be pretty easy to see on one before they feather out. I've never seen one on a chick or chicken. You can check regularly if you wish. It won't hurt and it may help you socialize them. But ticks are not anywhere on my worry list. Some people get chickens in part for tick control, though guineas are better.

    Mosquitoes are a bit different. They come out at night when the chickens are asleep. They are so small they don't get eaten a lot, especially at night when the chickens can't see. They can transmit diseases if there are other diseased birds around. I personally don't worry about Avian flu. It does exist but its basically been built up by the media because of the fear that it can be transmitted to humans. The occurrence is so rare it does not even make my radar. There are others, such as fowl pox, that can be transmitted by mosquitoes if other diseased birds are around. If you are showing birds, fowl pox is a specific worry since it can disfigure them, especially their comb and wattles. Since mine free range and my coop is well ventilated, I can't do anything about mosquitoes anyway. They are a fact of life. And I really think the risk is pretty low.

    Chickens will eat anything that doesn't eat them first. Mice and frogs are high on mine's favorites list. They will eat young snakes, even poisonous ones. They eat spiders, wasps, and bees. I'm not saying there is not some risk, but they very seldom get hurt and very, very seldom fatally hurt. Mine seem to know not to eat certain things. They won't touch blister beetles, for example.

    Life is not without risk. Mine have so much fun chasing grasshoppers that I am not going to concern myself with the off chance that something bad might happen with something they find. And so far nothing bad has happened.

  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I had a problem with mosquitos here. Still do. My solution was to buy an inexpensive small fan and mount it on the roof pointed at their roost. It worked. Unfortunately, I don't have an exterior outlet so I have a lovely orange extension cord running from the garage bathroom window to the coop. Not pretty but it works. We don't have a problem with ticks down here and fleas are rarely an issue.

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