Cicadas: Chicken Food Bounty?

RTW

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 6, 2011
3
14
19
Orange County, NY
I'm in my 3rd year of chicken ownership and have lurked here for info and guidance but this is my first leap into the forum.

I live in the northeast, where we're anticipating the return of the 17-year cicadas this summer. As proof that I have totally morphed from a normal mom to a Crazy Chicken Lady, my first thought was "Yay, free chicken food!" I'm sure my girls will be pigging out when the cicadas emerge.

Eventually, as is often the case, I had a weird notion: We're probably going to have more bugs than my nine girls can consume. Would it be possible to freeze them for a treat during the cold, bug-free months? Setting aside the trauma my family might suffer from an encounter with ziplok bags full of bugs in the freezer, does this seem viable to anyone?
 

scratch'n'peck

Crowing
Oct 31, 2008
5,925
673
401
West Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Yay, chicken food bonanza. They freeze dry meal worms, but I think they use dry ice. I accidentally left the packaged meal worms out this winter and found them under the snow. They were still frozen in their zip lock package, but were not dry but kind of mushy. I did not want to touch them any more and thew them away. Of course the chickens might have thought they were fine.
 

yyz0yyz0

Songster
8 Years
May 2, 2012
616
112
184
I don't know how long the "hatch" lasts but here's something you might try.

As soon as you can find some of the Cicadas, grab several and freeze them in bag. Wait a few days then take them out and see what happens with the bugs and the chickens. I would think that 2-3 days in the freezer would be enough to make whatever changes would occur to the bodies. Then you'll know if you should go ahead and fill up the freezer. Even if you find they turn to mush when they thaw, you might just be able to throw them to the girls as they are thawing and they would just eat them anyway.
 

yyz0yyz0

Songster
8 Years
May 2, 2012
616
112
184
well it took some searching but I finally found an area near me with lots of cicadas. The chickens love them, both live or dead. So I'm going to stop every day this week on the way home from work and gather some more. I'm going to freeze them and use them later in the summer and into the winter if they last that long.

Anyone else feeding cicadas?
 

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