Grubs in the Chicken Pen

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mscherilyn, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. mscherilyn

    mscherilyn Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Jun 2, 2014
    Southern Arizona
    [​IMG]
    MEDIUM SIZED GRUB

    I live in a small city in southern Arizona and am a novice chicken owner. I have eleven chickens: 1 Americana, 1 Black Maran, 2 Buff Orpingtons, 1 RI Red, 1 White LegHorn, 1 Red Sexlink, 1 Black Sexlink, 2 Aracaunas, 1 Black Australorp. All of them were born mid-April 2014 except the first 2, that are older but I'm not sure how much older--probably no more than 6 months older or so. (These 2 were given to me.)

    One day I noticed a few small mounds of disrupted dirt in the morning inside the chicken pen. After paying attention for a week or so and some research, I figured out the mounds were from grubs that have taken up residence under the soil inside the chicken coop (and who come out every evening). In my research I learned that chickens LOVE grubs as a great treat. "Wonderful" I thought, "the chickens are gonna love these!" But...MY chickens don't touch 'em. They'll sometimes peck at them once, but then leave them, uninterested. Last night, after a tremendous rain yesterday, the grubs not only came out in full force, but then they died and are just laying all over the coop. As expected, the chickens aren't touching them (alive or dead). By the way, the FEW mounds have increased to a LOT of mounds and the LITTLE grubs are now GIANT grubs! What a waste of grubs if my chickens won't eat them. I thought chickens were supposed to help eliminate these kinds of things too. What gives? So, I have some questions: (1) Why are the grubs taking up residence in the chicken pen? (2) Why aren't any of my chickens eating them? (3) Are these grubs a problem then? and lastly, (4) Should I get rid of them (and how)?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  2. CityFarmer202

    CityFarmer202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    14
    81
    Jun 10, 2014
    Missouri
    1) I don't know what kind of grub, but they probably like the rich poop in the pen
    2) I have no idea, my chickens eat grubs like crazy! they can never get enough (i have some of the same breeds, not a breed thing)
    3) I'm not sure, but if they are rotting, or biting you chickens, that is bad
    4) i would shovel the dead ones out if possible. You could pour vinegar in the mounds to kill them (don't get it in the chickens eyes)
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. mscherilyn

    mscherilyn Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Jun 2, 2014
    Southern Arizona
    I doubt they are biting the chickens as they are hidden underground during the day and only surface after sundown. By then chickens are in the coop. Also doubt rotting is the issue, since they only came out last night and died for the first time. As an add on, I just noticed some of them are coming back to life (not all) but not quite energetic enough to crawl back underground. The chickens are pecking at them alive as well, and yet they still leave them alone. Thanks for the reply though. I appreciate anyone giving me feedback - cuz I'm stumped for now!
     
  4. CityFarmer202

    CityFarmer202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    14
    81
    Jun 10, 2014
    Missouri
    your welcome :) are your chickens free ranged or in a coop and run most of the time? That could affect how much they are willing to get their own food or not. Mine are free range and get most of their food from the yard :)
     
  5. mscherilyn

    mscherilyn Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Jun 2, 2014
    Southern Arizona
    Much to my disliking, they are always in a run and coop. I cannot allow them out. They love to scratch the ground, but since it is bare now, that provides very little except ... if they wanted them, the grubs of course.
     
  6. mermaids

    mermaids Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    18
    63
    Mar 29, 2015
    Frederick County MD
    Any new developments with these grubs that chickens won't eat? So peculiar. Maybe they tried them and they don't taste good, like monarch butterfly caterpillars.
     
  7. mscherilyn

    mscherilyn Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Jun 2, 2014
    Southern Arizona
    @ mermaids: The grubs are not around anymore. They disappeared during the winter. I'm not sure if this is going to be a seasonal thing and they're going to return. We will see. It's interesting you should ask about the grubs though because just a few days ago I was watching the chickens when one of them found a grub I threw in there. They snatched it and ran around like the Dickens while the others played the chase game...as if they had some prized possession. Now you would think that wouldn't happen since they didn't eat the grubs before...and I can't confirm that they actually ate it. But I certainly didn't expect such enthusiasm over it.
     
  8. mermaids

    mermaids Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    18
    63
    Mar 29, 2015
    Frederick County MD
    Oh they sound more like real chickens now! I love watching the chase game! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by