June Beetles Providing Exceptional Protein Bounty

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
17,763
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
For some reason this year the June beetles are exceptionally abundant in my yard this year. There are so many they look like a swarm of bees that hugs the ground. In past years my juvenile chickens (5 to about 16 weeks) would stay out on ground even after sun down to hawk the beetles on the ground achieving crop fill within 15 minutes or so. This year the beetle abundance is much higher. Problem I have is chickens of age most likely to benefit are staying near barn away from mowed area of yard where beetles most abundant. This even I will try to promote a range shift in the juveniles to get them over to where the beetles are. They will have to be promoted to move 150' east of where they normally go at a time they normally go to roost. Will be tough.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
17,763
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Hen with brood of 10 chicks (almost juvenile) will be 4 weeks old tomorrow. Some are in early stages of bout with cocci so moving brood to house will allow greater control over water they have access to. I have provided a treated water supply they are are already hitting hard as they forage for insects. Insect super abundant in yard even during day although very little of what they are catching appears to be the June Beetles. Hopefully we will see an overlap in activity that results in chicks targeting the beetles.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
17,763
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Study group.
20170616_192235.jpg
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
17,763
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
That was a blast. At first while the beetle density was low I was better at finding them and pointing them out so hen and brood would come to eat them. Once the beetles really started to fly the hen and brood ignored me even though I was still better at finding the higher concentrations. Hen was catching them off wing like stags did a few years back. Learning curve with this for birds.


Beetles not same as I have seen in years past here. These guys smaller, lighter in color, and faster.
20170616_203256.jpg


Hen abruptly broke off hunt to call brood up into a thorny plumb tree. At that point I caged them and placed cage in garage.

That was fun!
 

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chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,200
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
That was a blast. At first while the beetle density was low I was better at finding them and pointing them out so hen and brood would come to eat them. Once the beetles really started to fly the hen and brood ignored me even though I was still better at finding the higher concentrations. Hen was catching them off wing like stags did a few years back. Learning curve with this for birds.


Beetles not same as I have seen in years past here. These guys smaller, lighter in color, and faster.
View attachment 1045082

Hen abruptly broke off hunt to call brood up into a thorny plumb tree. At that point I caged them and placed cage in garage.

That was fun!
That is definitely not the same June bugs that my friends and I use to capture, then tie a sewing thread around a hind leg and let them fly around like flying a kite.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,387
17,763
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
Those we had as well. They were much larger and green. A type of scarab . dung beetle. We used hair from horse tail, in part because the beetles most abundant in the horse pasture. Last year I saw what was essentially a swarm of those on a piece of ground approximately 1/2 acre that has several hundred of the beetles flying about.
 

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