Do chickens eat ants?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lori Anne, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Lori Anne

    Lori Anne New Egg

    Jul 29, 2015
    3 weeks ago I bought 5 day old Brown Leg Horn chicks in the hopes that they would forage in the back yard and help us battle our Thatcher Ant problem. So far I haven't seen them eat a single ant. They readily eat blackflies and moths. When they see an ant, they just watch it walk away. I saw some You Tube videos of chickens demolishing ant hills. Is it something they will do when they are older? I really pictured chickens eating all bugs they see. Perhaps I should have tried a different breed of chicken?
  2. slingshotandLAR

    slingshotandLAR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2013
    They should....

    Mine eat anything they can get in thier beaks, I'm a bit surprised the chicks watch them without pecking at them. Give them time, they should start eating them
  3. hawsecav19d

    hawsecav19d Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2015
    I think for most part they are not a preference food because of high acidity.
  4. ccrow

    ccrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    Southern Maine
    Mine don't eat ants... although some of them will eat the larvae etc if I turn over a rock and find a nest. Maybe if you dug into the nest a bit they would pitch in?
  5. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    Mine will browse a bit on ants, at least I think they are, I can't really be sure. They do seem to be more interested in the larvae and pupae. Just yesterday I pulled some old utility fabric out of my garden shed that had been colonized by carpenter ants. I tossed it outside and called the chickens over. They gobbled up all the cocoons and seemed to be pecking around in the area for a while afterwards. These were sizable ants and my hens seemed fairly indifferent. I'm sure they ate a few and I have seen them take a peck or two at a line of sugar ants. But I think they could take 'em or leave 'em.
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    The only way my hens will eat ants is if I put them in a tractor in the morning, before they fill up with fermented feed.....
  7. steve102

    steve102 Out Of The Brooder

    Ours love them, especially when u hand feed them.
  8. Lori Anne

    Lori Anne New Egg

    Jul 29, 2015
    Thanks for all the replies! I will cross my fingers and hope they will acquire a taste for them!
  9. beginnergirl

    beginnergirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2015
    Pacific Nortwest
    Sadly, my hens will not touch ants. We live on an ant hill but they are not interested.
    1 person likes this.
  10. mcbrown7513

    mcbrown7513 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2015
    Southern Mississippi
    I have only had my chickens for a short time. I have been bribing them to the ant mounds in my yard with fried meal worms. Now they terrorize the ants something fierce.

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