June Beetles Providing Exceptional Protein Bounty

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    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.
     
    NorthTexasWink likes this.
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    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.
     
    NorthTexasWink likes this.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Study group.
    20170616_192235.jpg
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Girst June Beetle on wing @ 2022. Hen and brood already flying up on truck to roost @ 2025.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    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!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
    NorthTexasWink likes this.
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,620
    1,102
    311
    Dec 25, 2012
    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.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    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.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    20170617_195739.jpg

    20170617_195559.jpg X
     
    NorthTexasWink likes this.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Kids having a role. Introduced a cock to group to keep him out of a high management situation elsewhere.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,957
    2,635
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Species ID not correct. Should be May Beetle, not June Beetle as used in all posts above.
     
    NorthTexasWink likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by