Insects Question?


8 Years
Feb 16, 2011
I have my chickens housed under a pine tree. Are there any insects that they can dig up there? By the way, I am thinking of collecting insects for them. Which insects should I look for? Earthworms, mealworms, ants, etc? What insects do your chickens really like and are in abundance? Thanks in advance!
I buy my girls mealworns, superworms and crickets from PetSmart or Petco. You could also get some interesting bugs from common bait shops. As for wild caught bugs, they love moths, mosquitoes, ant larva, and houseflies. They'll eat earthworms, too, but I won't catch those because the worms are good for the soil. The only bugs I've found that my girls won't eat are wasps and anything with a hard shell--like beetles.

Go out in your yard and turn over some stones; let the chickens feast on whatever bugs are hiding underneath.
Cicadas! They're chicken crack.

Also, crane flies, moths, and a fat brown beetle (not sure what they're called) are plentiful right now. I have a 4-week Speckled Sussex I refer to as "the beetle beater". That little girl will take on some rather large beetles and smack them around until one or both of the hard wing coverings pops off. And then she eats it. Whole. It makes me laugh because she's the smallest chick and the bravest when something big flies in.
Where can you find them?
Pick them off of wherever you find them, they wont bite. They're just ugly. Cicadas are one of my flocks favorite treats!
can you catch cicadas now, while they are plentiful, and freeze them for later use? The 13 yr. cicada is everywhere this year.
We had the 17 year locusts or cicadas here in Ohio in 2008, but some areas of the country have them now. Believe me if they are in your community you will hear them. They eat young trees and create damage to plants bigtime. I will occasionally find 1 or 2 every summer because I guess those guys missed the big time in '08, so their 17 year thing will always be kind of off.
Cicadas aren't locusts. They are drawn to fast-growing trees because they lay their eggs in green wood so you will find them in great numbers hanging around places like shopping centers where they've planted a lot of softwood ornamentals.

They're pretty slow moving in the early morning; you can take a plastic cup and walk around dropping cicadas in. No need for a lid -- they are awkward flyers and can't climb the slippery sides. They do like to drop when they see you coming so it works best to hold the container under them while you reach for the wings because many will simply let go and fall in.
I feed my girls mealworms, superworms, and black soldier fly larvae (all of which I raise). Since they are confined to a pen, they don't get too many wild insects, and I don't collect them. Living in the city, there's no way to know how much insecticide or other chemicals wild insects have been exposed to in other yards.
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