Feeding Scraps causes Ants

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ParadiseChickens, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. ParadiseChickens

    ParadiseChickens Songster

    Apr 19, 2011
    I have 4 month old chickens that I occassionally try to feed a table scrap such as cantaloupe, lettuce, cornbread, etc. I live in Texas with a hot climate at this time of year and within 15 minutes after I put something in their pen, the ants are so bad that they sting my hands as I try to pick up the scrap to trash it. My chicks are not used to eating scraps so they dont just rush to it.

    I read on here all the time about someone giving their chicks treats. How do you guys deal with the ants?

  2. chickschool

    chickschool Songster

    Mar 5, 2011
    Traverse City, MI
    Wow, we have ants but not stinging ones. For my chicken it is a treat if the scraps attract ants as they love them. I wish I could be more help.
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    We have ants, but apparently not so many that they arrive before the hens! LOL
  4. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Songster

    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Same here - my girls swoop in really fast. Even though we don't have fire ants here, we are having a bad year for them. So I try not to give mine treats in the coop, in the run or near the house. I have a patch of thick brush as an island between the coop and house where treats are tossed.

    I do have a steel spike I sometimes use in the coop to offer an ugly apple or melon rind. I think putting the treat up on a stick minimizes the sugary juice' ground contact.

  5. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Songster

    Oct 2, 2009
    How about hand-feeding them? That might get them used to the idea of treats.
  6. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    We have serious ant issues here too. We only treat away from the coop/run. The treats are also kept in a bowl and we toss only a handful at a time to them. A bit of DE in the run will keep them in check as well. [​IMG]
  7. Heiko27

    Heiko27 Chirping

    Jun 16, 2011
    You could try putting it on something up higher, then coating that object with vegetable oil or something. If the oil touches them and gets enough on in it, even when they walk away they have a good chance of dying as it suffocates them.

  8. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I would also suggest DE.
  9. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Yup!! Red ants little buggers are bad here as well. There really bad after it rains. I usually just hose them off whatever their on.

  10. Chocobo

    Chocobo Chirping

    May 27, 2011
    It sounds silly but if the scraps are on a hard surface or there is a hard surface somewhere between the scraps and the ants you can draw a chalk line.
    Ants aren't actually following each other by sight, they are following a scent trail and for some reason they are unable to follow a scent trail that crosses a chalk line.
    Experimented with this as a kid. Actually works. Kinda spooky really.

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