Do chickens eat ants?

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

  1. Lori Anne

    Lori Anne New Egg

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    Mar 25, 2014
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    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.
    [VIDEO]
     
  8. Lori Anne

    Lori Anne New Egg

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    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

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    May 25, 2015
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    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

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    Sep 9, 2015
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    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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