Fire ants nest in chicken cage..

chic-chics

In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 30, 2011
17
0
24
Hi!

We have been letting our 3 chickens run free for the past few days while we try to eradicate this ginger ant nest. Since the wet season has started here in the tropics of Northern Territory Australia, a gigantic ant nest has sprung up and we believe that it is actually the size of the whole cage (6x6 metres) and in parts the ants have dug to the surface and have multiple openings for them to escape the wet. If we go to collect eggs for just a few seconds we are bitten/stung by at least 3 ants and it STINGS!

The nest is so large that the baits haven't worked that well and they are still active. Our vet said that chicken feet are tough and they don't really feel the bite, is this true? Because we have to leave them in the cage from tomorrow during most of the day while we begin work again. The chickens definitely notice the ants because they shuffle their feet and kick, pick them off when they get bitten. We would like to know what you think about this problem.

Thank you.
 
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CelticOaksFarm

Family owned, family run
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
12,307
278
323
Florida - Space Coast
We have the same problems here in FL too. Our hens avoid the mounds and jump of they stray over one. I would guess they do feel the bites. I would be worried that a nest that large could swarm and kill the hens if agrivated enough by the scratch and such.
 

Chemguy

Songster
8 Years
May 30, 2011
680
39
131
Springfield, Ohio
Quote:
I had the same idea. Borax is toxic to many insects. As for the chickens having tough legs, that might be true but if the ants get under their feathers I am sure a sting would hurt.

Do these ants swarm before they sting? In the US fire ants first swarm, one gives a signal, then they all sting at the same time.
 

seminolewind

Flock Mistress
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Sep 6, 2007
18,689
4,145
762
Corydon, Indiana
I have them all over my yard (Florida). They are sticky and quickly end up all over you. A month ago I saw them nesting in front of my silkie coop. They got in my pants and I had to strip my pants off on my patio, LOL

I got rid of them with Ortho Home Defense. It has a 3-4 month residue too. But I think that the borax will do it like Bear Foot says, and it might be easier for you to get.

Nasty things!
 

chic-chics

In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 30, 2011
17
0
24
Thanks guys, I have some ant sand. Although because chickens constantly peck the dirt I assume they will be killed if I use it inside the coop?
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,907
268
336
DFW
I've used plain white vinegar, poured on the mound, with great success in our back yard, but I wasn't dealing with anything like the size of the mound you've got. It's simple, inexpensive and not toxic to the chickens. You can also use boiling water, but with that you have to be careful not to spill any on yourself.

Can you move your chicken run?
 

chic-chics

In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 30, 2011
17
0
24
Hi there, we cannot move the pen. i'VE TIPPED TWO KETTLES OF BOILING WATER TO NO AVAIL, WILL GO PUT THE KETTLE ON AGAIN NOW.
Whoops, my apologies for the caps-lok..
 

MANNA-PRO

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