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On the digestion of earwigs...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by nobodyherebutuschickens, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. nobodyherebutuschickens

    nobodyherebutuschickens Songster

    Dec 20, 2010
    Erie, Colorado
    My white orp just hatched 6 mutts three days ago, and I couldn't be happier. I am, in fact, quite pleased with the hen for being a good mommy and teacher to the fuzzy butts. I wanted to reward her for a hard day's hatch, and put a nice, juicy raspberry in her feed bowl, which is purposely higher than the chicks can reach. So she gets very excited, pecks at it a few times, and then holds it out to her babies. She does the same with several grasshoppers. The chicks go wild! They play a game of chase, and the treat vanishes. Now, this morning, I come out to her enclosure to see her rummaging through the shavings like crazy, taking out earwigs left and right. [​IMG] There must have been several hordes of earwigs hiding in there!!! [​IMG] She pecks them enough to stun them, and then the chicks come in and gulp them down. Now, I'm all for the complete annihilation of earwigs, but is it really safe for the little babies to be eating so many bugs this soon? When we got our first chicks from the feed store, they weren't interested in eating anything but chick feed until they were much older. If it's not a good idea for the chicks to consume earwigs/mosquitoes/grasshoppers, how on earth would I be able to stop them? You'd think that they eat all sorts of things "in the wild". Thanks for the input!

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Oh boy! All that nice protein. They must be growing well.

    As long as they have access to the ground, they will get their own grit. If they have grit, yes, they can eat those things. You can't stop it and it will not hurt them. What do you think chicks raised by broodies with the flocks have been eating the last few thousand years?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  3. alaina

    alaina Chirping

    May 4, 2011
    North middle TN
    what an awsome "problem" I wouldn't worry!! [​IMG]
  4. Ugh, our coop is riddled with earwigs! I'd LOVE to be getting rid of them like that! [​IMG] My chickens loved them. (We just lost our flock the other night... [​IMG] *Sniff*

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