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Do chickens eat tiny bugs?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Meesh, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    I wonder if they will be any help against the flea beetles that plague my garden in June. The FB's are tiny little beetles. Are bantams more likely to go after tiny bugs? If so, I will order more bantams.

    Thx,
    Michelle
     
  2. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Chickens will eat EVERY bug that they can catch. I think they even eat scorpions. UGGGGGGG! They have great eyesight and are great "hunters". I love watching mine, but they are spoiled because I help them with the grasshoppers. [​IMG]
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am skeptical how well chickens would be able to get flea beetles, given flea beetles' tendency to fall off the leaf and play dead at the first sign of danger.

    I daresay the chickens might eat a few, but I suspect that at best you'd see something like a 10% decrease in flea-beetle damage and you'd likely also see a 100% increase in hungry-chicken damage to your plants... [​IMG]

    You can try, though [​IMG]


    Pat
     
  4. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    Hi Pat,

    This is my layout, it's going into our big old garden space. Most of it is unused, so it's going to be the chicken range, too.

    [​IMG]

    So the chickens can forage all the way around my hoophouse, but I am going to cover it with bird netting to keep them out of the veggies.

    I would happily plant a trap crop for the beetles out in the chicken range areas if it would help. FB's are supposed to really like mustard, daikon, and radish. I want to plant some cover crops anyways for the chickens to forage...

    Cheers,
    Michelle
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I hear guineas are excellent at eating ticks. Not familiar with flea beetles, but maybe they are like ticks?
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Michelle,

    I love your plan! That is so clever. Also I am sure the chickens appreciate your having the right priorities about amount of space available to chickens vs vegetables LOL

    Still not sure the chickens will help much with fleabeetles, but who knows, wait and see [​IMG] And the trap crops are definitely worth a try.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. pegspets

    pegspets New Egg

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    Aug 22, 2012
    snohomish,washington
    thank you all so much, I was worried that the black beetles and such in my small indoor chicken coop would bother my seramas, after watching them closely I was very happy to see they catch them and seem to enjoy eating them, I love that you all answer questions for everything I could think of before I even have to post it, thanks so much, YOUR ALL VERY HELPFUL!
     

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