Not interested in pill bugs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jasonmerritt, May 23, 2012.

  1. jasonmerritt

    jasonmerritt In the Brooder

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    May 23, 2012
    Hendersonville, NC
    My girls aren't interested in pill bugs as treats, and I need their help in my garden. Is it only my chickens? Have you seen yours eating pill bugs?
     
  2. KenOmatic

    KenOmatic In the Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    My chickens don't like pill bugs (doodle bugs in Texas) either.
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Had to google to see exactly what a pill bug looked like. They are called Roly polys here and yes I had chickens a few years ago that ate them.

    Here's one that could take on a chicken, and maybe win

    [​IMG]

    Imp
     
  4. jasonmerritt

    jasonmerritt In the Brooder

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    May 23, 2012
    Hendersonville, NC
    Well, I did a little more research and found that the pill bugs, roly poly's, etc. might not actually be the ones chewing up my garden. Maybe the ladies knew that before I did.
     
  5. I have a few ducklings mixed in with my pullets. The ducks love pill bugs and since the chickens follow the ducks everywhere they go...now the chickens eat pill bugs too.

    But they don't eat them nearly as much as the ducks.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  6. jasonmerritt

    jasonmerritt In the Brooder

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    May 23, 2012
    Hendersonville, NC
    Maybe I need to get some ducks as well. [​IMG]
     
  7. debid

    debid Crowing

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    Some of my chickens will eat them, some won't... and it's not the same every day. I'm sure if they weren't being fed so often...
     
  8. DawnCols

    DawnCols Songster

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    My chickens have also shown no interest in rolly polly/pill bugs. (I think the bugs prefer dead plants to live, but seem willing to branch out.)

    However, my girls initially showed no interest in dandelions either, until the new girl decided she likes the greens. I've noticed that if I can get the new girl to eat something, the top hen gets jealous and steals it from her . . . I am slowly training them to eat dandelions this way. Perhaps pill bugs could work the same way.

    Best wishes with the hen-assisted gardening.
     
  9. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    We take our ducks into the garden and they have a BLAST eating up all the bugs. They really love the Rolly Polly bugs, whereas the chickens will not eat them at all.
     
  10. Mike329

    Mike329 Hatching

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    Sep 7, 2016
    Hey guys I bought a couple Rhode Island reds a few months ago and at first they didnt really eat any bugs not even worms. They wouldn't even eat their pellets i had to buy smaller crumble. They did eat raspberries,blueberries,and grapes but that was it.
    So I gave them a strip of bacon one morning and they went nuts chasing each other around for it i was laughing so hard I almost peed myself. Later I gave them a piece of pastrami and a slice of cheese which they also fought over. One day I let them into my garden and heard a commotion only to find that Tina my bigger Lead hen had found a colorful grasshopper and Margaret the faster hen was trying to steal it away which made her run and gobble it up. Since then I realized they would eat grasshoppers so every other day I go into the farmers field next door with his permission and I catch grasshoppers by hand and but them in a 2 liter bottle with holes. Easiest way is to walk slowly making them hop and then watch where they land and cup your hands over them, they are so dumb they will jump right into your hands trying to escape,Just before dusk is best as crickets will emerge everywhere too by the hundreds and chickens love crickets the most :). I hear your supposed to cook them first because of parasites but meh I give them Diatomaceous Earth and apple cider vinegar in their water to kill parasites anyway.
    I later found some real wriggly active worms and when margaret saw them move she couldn't resist but to eat them and when tina saw margaret eat about 6 of them she finally said screw it imma eat them too and did. Since then I have given them slugs and spiders big creepy ones and centipedes millipedes pincher bugs you name it them creepier and faster it moves the more they want to eat it. Maybe pill bugs are to slow I thought? It seemed that they When we play our favorite game of walking around the yard lifting rocks and logs up the chickens pounced on everything underneath completely ignoring the pill bugs. That is until yesterday, I was lifting rocks up for Tina when she grabbed a long creepy centipede and when Margaret came running over to see what she had Tina gobbled it up quickly and looked down at all the dispersing pill bugs like oh ya I already got the goody haha, But just then whether out of spite or hunger Margaret pounced on the scattering pill bugs and started gobbling them up, Tina who had always ignored the pill bugs watched Margaret gobble up about 8 or 10 before finally realizing and it was so funny to see It was like she was like *** you can eat those fuking things! And BOOM they both started annihilating my pill bug problem. I went around my yard lifting rock after rock along my stone wall and my girls pounced on not just the crickets and spiders although the go for the faster stuff first but also gobbling up any pill bug in sight. So I think if you can train one chicken or duck whatever to eat pillbugs (roly poly bugs) Then I believe once the others see they will eat them too, chickens are weird like that they want what the other one has.
    A trick I use when I introduce new foods is to only give one piece so they have to fight over it and want it more, once they want it once that's all folks! Well good luck I hope this helps with your pill bug infestation I know mine is about to become extinct.Also they feed on dead underbrush and leaves so you can rake it away and make sure you have no wet/damp piles of anything on the ground, put in up on pallets as pill bugs love moist dark tight places. Or just buy more chickens if one eats them they all will, I think another type of chicken really likes to eat them too you could research which types of birds eat pill bugs religiously and buy a couple of those problem solved. Ok gtg feed the hens goodluck, be creative, experiment and research online for ways to improve your coop find free foods for them build maggot dispenser cricket farm, dust bath boxes with D.E. Nesting boxes etc.
     

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