grasshopper color and likelihood of being consumed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have been watching a trio of adults (2 hens and 1 rooster) rearing two broods of chicks (4 weeks and 3 weeks of age). During early morning hours the group allows me walk along as they forage for crickets and grasshoppers. This morning I assisted the adults in catching items that the adults then took from me and gave to chicks. All three adults would take what I offered. Hens then gave items directly to their own chicks while rooster gave items to hens or directly to chicks. In all instances all items were consumed by chicks. Something became evident as I began to throw items on ground. The grasshoppers came in a range of colors (green, yellow and brown). The chickens either preferred green to brown or the former are easier to see. I also caught a Carolina grasshopper, which flashed its wings wing chicks tried to peck it resulting in chicks allowing it to escape.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Chickens are concentrating foraging activity for grasshoppers at 400-foot border between tall fescue of pasture and mowed grass of yard. Adult chicken have difficulty penetrating and chicks / juveniles seemed not inclined to go deep as grasshoppers above easy jumping range. Grasshopper abundance / density seems higher at border as well, why I do not know.

    Image repressents border as is now.
    [​IMG]

    I am thinking about getting mower out to cut walking lanes of short grass into tall fescue to increase border area. May improve chickens ability to meet food needs.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have no idea what a cricket eats but it seems like mobility for them would be easier in that transition area as well.

    ETA: Anyone know what crickets eat?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  4. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    Interesting theory. But it looks like it would work. Go for it.
     
  5. melissa41927

    melissa41927 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you have a very interesting diagram. nice work in observation. most owner don't do that. crickets like decaying vegetation. so you could throw out some potato peels and they should come to them.
     
  6. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen crickets eating grass leaves.

    Might even make narrow "rows" into the taller grass for the chickens to stroll through and catch the insects crossing the rows.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Some crickets as noted eat decaying vegetation, some eat live vegetation and few are predatory. Grasshoppers eat live vegetation but may specialize on particular plant species or parts.
     
  8. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grasshoppers will eat my garden down to the ground. My back garden is near the edge of the woods, and they wreck havic on it each year. Starts with the blooms, then the plant itself. I have started this year to treat...hated to do it, but want my harvest!!! We have grren grasshoppers.....Just a FYI..LOL
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have had problems with grasshoppers eating lawn, garden and pasture as well. Sometimes they consume more than intended livestock. Now that flock size is up grasshopper abundance will crash where birds range shortly after grasshoppers quite hatching for season. Reduction will be detectable immediately outside birds foraging range as well. As grasshoppers crash the chickens will increase their range to compensate.
     

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