Apr 20, 2015
Hello everyone! I am coming to you all from the ( currently hotter than the pits of hades) Nw corner of Ga. I currently have a handful of chicks, ducklings, and more recently keets who are brooding in a modified chainlink dog run. Everything has been going very smoothly with this set up so far. I introduced the tree or so week old keets to the group on Monday. Everything seemed to be going great until I noticed that my guinea keets started dropping. And not just dying but dying and all but the wings head and legs disappearing ( all the bits that were left behind remained inside the enclosure). At first, I blamed the chicks who resided with the keets, but watching them throughout the day there is honestly no sign of aggression towards the keets at all. Rather they seem indifferent to them. So anyway I am getting off track here. I went out to make sure that everything was going ok with them after dark tonight and to count the guineas. ( Mind you my remaining keets were eating and drinking and just doing their normal guinea thing all day long today!) and low and behold I find one missing so I start looking around the enclosure and find the missing keet being completely devoured by RED FIRE ANTS!!! I look around my feet and notice there are a good amount of ants everywhere. These ants don't seem to be a problem during the day as much as they are at night when the air is cooler ( we have been having 100 degree days for several days now)! Now here is my question for you all! HOW ON EARTH DO I SAFELY REMOVE THE ANTS FROM MY COOP AND KEEP THEM GONE!? I can't keep having them eating my babies! That is a horrible way to go and I refuse to let it happen again to any of my birds if I can help it. I have been scouring the internet for ant baits that are safe for use around poultry but have not turned up with much! How do you all solve this problem and have you ever lost chicks or keets to these little demons? Please help!
Ps I do have this posted in the coop maintenance forum as well. TIA for any help you all can offer!
Oh boy. This is scary. Diatomaceous earth may help, but can wreak havoc on sensitive chicken respiratory systems. Carefully tack down fly paper or similar everywhere? I wonder if pyrethrin or permethrin might work on ants; it’s safe for the birds. Just throwing ideas out. I really don’t know what to tell you. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this.
I've been having problem's with ant's also, and last year they ate up a batch of my chick's that were in a grow-out pen. You can go to TSC and buy some of the Gordon's Permethrin 10 Livestock & Premise spray in the one gallon size. Open up the booklet thing on the back and follow the instruction's for Poultry, as to how much you mix with water. Just a tip though, put the water first before adding the Permethrin so that it won't bubble up as bad. You can always shake to mix your solution after you have your lid on your sprayer. Spray where you see the ant's at, and try to find the anthill and get that too. Keep your eye's open after that and repeat whenever you start seeing them again.
Oh, thank you guys so much! I was flabbergasted when I realized what the culprit was! I have never seen ants take down a live animal before! I mean I have heard of them doing it in rainforests lol but not in my own back yard! I knew there had to be some safe method that I just was not finding via google.
You can try the permethrin, but don't be surprised when the ants gulp that stuff down and make more ants out of it. I lived in Texas for 10 years and whatever we sprayed to get rid of the fire-ants did not work at all. The stuff killed everything else, one pest-control sprayed stuff so toxic that the squirrels died - and their dead bodies were promptly eaten by fire-ants… :(
What did help was gasoline, the fumes kill any insect on contact but that's a terrible fire-hazard too.
We had a barrier of diatomic earth around the house to prevent the ants from coming inside, but that had to be re-applied after every heavy rainfall, a lot of work…
I'm in Texas, and my flock has occupied their current coop for almost 3 years now - all of a sudden, this summer I started seeing ants on the poop boards. I sprinkled poultry dust on the board & along the edges of the boards, and in the corners of the floor underneath, and no more ants! I don't think the dust kills them, as I'm not finding dead ants, so maybe it just irritates them enough to make them move along? It's the powder version of permethrin spray, from TSC Hope it helps!
So sorry for your loss. I live in Florida with a yard full of fire ant hills. I have found that covering the ant hills with Cinnamon helps to make them retreat. Of course, they move to another spot.

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