stinkbugs in and around the brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fiddlebanshee, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Folks along the east-coast will know what I am talking about. While we don't have nearly as many as last year, they seem to be congregating around the coop where the brooder is, probably because it is nice and warm in there. I have no easy way of keeping them out. Questions:

    1. Will they harm 1 week old chicks? I don't see why, but thought I'd ask. Any risk of diseases that they may carry?
    2. I found a couple hiding out in the feed. Is this a problem? I scooped them out, very easy to do, but I can't prevent them from coming in.
    3. When will my peeps start taking a liking to them and EAT them? For now they just seem to be puzzled by them and a little afraid (the chicks are almost 1 week old). Should I try feeding a dead one to them to see if they will start eating the live ones? Enough free protein to last until they're grown! Since I've fed them some mealworms (with great success!) I am offering them chick grit so I'm not too worried about them eating other things than their starter (and they're eating plenty of that too!).
    4. Do you do anything about stinkbugs or do you just leave them be?
     
  2. Tiss

    Tiss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know my chickens won't touch them. They are called stink bugs for a reason! I don't think that they will hurt your chicks since they are plant eaters (they especially like to suck the juice out of your tomatoes leaving nasty white spots under the skins).

    A little 5% Sevin dust ought to take care of them if you're concerned. I had to sprinkle my nest with Sevin last month when ants were interested in the chicks hatching under my broody. I was careful not to put it directly on the chicks, but later saw the chicks walking through it and pecking at places I'd sprinkled. It didn't hurt them a bit.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    fiddlebanshee,

    Could you show a picture of these stinkbugs?
     
  4. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We are in the stinkbug plague zone too. We let our chickens out when we get home around 3:00 p.m. They range the yard and eat anything that creeps or crawls, including stinkbugs! This year we have far fewer than last year. We started giving them random stinkbugs when they were in the backporch brooding box at about 4 or 5 weeks. Now they find their own. [​IMG] Here is what they look like:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Frederick, MD
    It is the asian stinkbug that has infested large parts of the midatlantic and southern part of the eastern USA. I will see if I can link to a picture online.

    ok, my picture link didn't work but the above basically is it.

    When you squish'm they stink. They are easy to catch, as they are not very fast, they seem to fly to one spot and then crawl around a bit and sit, rinse and repeat. This year overall the population of them in Maryland seems to be much less than the last couple of years. I've heard that they are moving south, as the weather here is too cold for their reproductive cycle. My best wishes are with the folks south of us. Last year we had them by the thousands, luckily not in the house as it is new construction and tightly built, but on the outside walls of the house - they were covered with them, literally a blanket.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  6. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    brooding box


    ? brooder?? You know...where you put the babies before they can be out from under the heatlamp. [​IMG]
     
  7. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    MarcyMom -- how did you feed the stinkbugs to your 4 weeks olds? Alive or dead?

    So far my chicks seem a little afraid of them, but they are very funny. I have plexiglass windows at the front vertical side of the brooder, and when a stinkbug lands on that surface 9 chicks will come running and frantically pecking at the window. The stinkbug couldn't care less and just sits there. Then when I pick the bug up and throw it in the brooder the chicks are curious but don't attempt to peck at it, and when it moves they seem to be a little afraid.
     
  8. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hubs would catch them and drop them in the box alive. They had an adventure with some bait store crickets first and then live mealworms. So they knew bugs were good to eat. Really, stinkbug are just ugly. I'm not sure chickens have tastebuds. Wild birds don't. I mix cayenne pepper into their food to keep the squirrels out of it and they eat it like it was not 5 alarm.
     
  9. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Ok they must have known I posted about this, because when I just checked up on them the brooder was in turmoil with the whole pack chasing one chick with a stinkbug in its beak! Yeay! They've discovered that this is food. It rivals the mayhem that the mealworms cause. Only I don't have to buy stinkbugs, they feed themselves to the chickens by invading their space. I am praying that this may be the solution to my little stinkbug problem.

    I threw in a few more and those were devoured too, after a good match of american football, complete with tackles and roughing around.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011

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