Inchworms? Anyone else?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by harveyhorses, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Or should this go under Feeding your Flock?
    We have them everywhere. I am not talking a few random inchworms, I am talking hundreds, and the girls love them, The wild birds are doing their part too, I just hope they can't O.D. on them. I can't see a solution, so I am hoping for the best. (as one comes floating in my window. sigh. )
    Please tell me they are not toxic. They couldn't be or there would be dead birds all over.
    right?
     
  2. glucke

    glucke Out Of The Brooder

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    i sure hope they aren't toxic! my chickens love inch worms. none of my gals got poisoned so far...
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  3. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are not toxic. As far as I know the only toxic caterpillar is the Monarch butterfly and they only make a bird sick and heave. After that they don't eat Monarch any more.
     
  4. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    monarchs aren't the only bad ones... buck moth caterpillars can inject a venom from their spines.. I've been stung three times this week by those little buggers... luckily I have only found them under our big old oak trees away from where the birds are kept
     
  5. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some of the large silk worm type moths have spines that can sting, but would be little defense from a chicken. It would not poison a chicken if it ate one.
     
  6. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens


    I know the wild birds won't touch a buck moth caterpillar once they reach the instar (i believe it's the 4th or 5th instar) where the spines become venomous..
    granted it may not poison a chicken if they were to ingest one.. but having been stung by those buggers I can only imagine what the stinging would do to a bird's mouth, esophagus and crop.. it stung for hours (much like a scorpion sting) caused swelling and nausea .. even the next day I was still having swelling at the site of the stings
     
  7. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never been stung by one, but I hear it can take up to ten days for symptoms go away. I doubt that a chicken would even bother to try and eat one anyway. If they did they would beat it against the ground until it was basically pulp, breaking off the spins before swallowing it. I haven't seen any buck moth caterpillars here in Nebraska, we have the cecropia moth, another of the large silk worms, but they don't sting.
     

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