Finished Coop... and its full of ants!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chocobroc, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Chocobroc

    Chocobroc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok... Help me here. My hubby finished the coop on Sunday. Up until last Friday there was a trench around the coop until we got the wire around it in order to bury the bottom for preditor protection. Trench filled Friday, chickens went in on Sunday, and now there are ants piles that completely go around the whole coop with a couple of piles inside. The chickens were up inside for the first couple days and today was the first day they got brave and explored the rest of their new digs. Are these ants going to be a problem or will the chickens eat them? I don't want to lay down any ant killer because that can be harmful to my girls. Any advice/suggestions... see pics below to get a better idea of what I'm trying to explain...

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  2. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    My chickens don't eat ants and we've got lots of them!! I bought some ant traps and placed them around the run where the dogs on the outside and the chickens on the inside can't get to them. Also, I bleached out their waterer and when done I poured the bleach water into any of the holes I could find. I don't have any plants or grass to worry about. However, it's been a few weeks and the ants have new holes. [​IMG] I was also spreading some DE in their run, which worked, but only for about 4 days. It's been hot and the ants are looking for water. They really pester the chickens and the ants we have bite. I had a friend lose a tortoise because ants were attracted to the food the tortoise had around it's mouth and on it's neck. They literally ate a hole in the tortoises neck. They are not harmless pests!!
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can pour plain white vinegar, full strength, on the ant mounds. Won't harm the chickens. You can also pour boiling water on the mounds, but you have to be careful not to splash any on yourself.

    By the way, I noticed the chicken wire on your run. You do know that chicken wire isn't secure from predators, right? If your coop is secure, you'll need to lock your chickens in it every night for their own safety.
     
  4. UrbanChick101

    UrbanChick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine is covered in ear wigs. If the earwigs come out during the day the chickens eat them. I did sprinkle with Stall Dri, hoping the DE will help reduce the little bugs, as I don't have straight DE to spread around. Last night when I went to shut the door, I didn't notice earwigs, although it wasn't all the way dark yet. I noticed, once I added the sand to the run, the number of the nasty creatures about doubled. I wouldn't worry much, they are not going to hurt your chickens, and the girls will probably eat them if they see them wandering around. If you want to sprinkle something on them, get some Stall Dri or DE.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I lost several newly hatched chicks to ants -- these are fire ants. NOT harmless. I used mostly poultry dust and DE, but resorted to poison as well, I'm afraid. Did not lose any chickens to poison. The dogs won't go near a fire ant hill I have poisoned, I notice.
     
  6. cass1776

    cass1776 Out Of The Brooder

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    That's a nice looking little coop. How big is it?
     
  7. Chocobroc

    Chocobroc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. I'll try the vinegar idea. As for the wire, Elmo, yeah I cheaped out on the wire because money got really tight and I had to get the coop done. I double wrapped the bottom half of the coop, and secured the roof area so there is no climbing in between the metal roof and wire. Also, we have no raccoons problems in our area because of three huge hunting dog pens in the lot next to ours. Ever since the man bought the property next to ours and put 28 hunting dogs on his land, I haven't seen a single raccoon in the vicinity.

    Also, I have an issue with "poultry wire" that has a picture of a chicken on the packaging, that has the same gauge wire as hardwire cloth, yet isn't safe for chickens??? The only difference was 1/2 inch in size. I understand that the 1/2 inch can make a difference but double wrapping decrease the size of the holes.

    Thanks again!!
     
  8. Chocobroc

    Chocobroc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh sorry Cass1776, I was creating a post when you posted, so I missed your question. It is 5x10x7... It suppose to be 6' but my husband is 6'8" and he wanted to be able to stand up in it. It is suppose to fit 8 chickens comfortably and I have 5.
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The problem with chicken wire isn't the size of the holes, mainly. It's the structure. Take a close look at chicken wire and you'll see that the strands of wire are twisted or woven together, not welded. That means that it is much less strong than welded wire, which is why critters can rip apart chicken wire to make a hole large enough for ingress. It's not just raccoons, either: possum, skunk, weasels, etc.

    Just as long as you are aware of the issue...many people look at the picture on the package and think chicken wire is good for keeping chickens safe from predators. It's a reasonable inference, but an incorrect and unfortunate one. Browse for a few minutes in the Predators and Pests section of this forum and you'll see what I mean. Chicken wire keeps chickens in, period.

    I've gotten friendly with one of the cashiers at our grocery store who just started keeping chickens. He lost two hens to a predator attack a few weeks ago...right in urban Dallas. He was using chicken wire, but he didn't know the risks. He thought it was secure! I wish I'd talked to him about it, because if I had I might have been able to save the lives of those two poor chickens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  10. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    I had some ants coming in our coop a few days after we finished construction. Fire ants are AWFUL here! I found where they were coming in and dumped a liberal amount of Diatomaceous Earth around the area. Next day - no ants.

    Last week I noticed ants were in the feeders, so I poured some DE in with the feed, and I also dusted the board that I have the feeders sitting on with DE. I haven't see any ants since.

    Just make sure you get food grade DE.
     

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