Why are they scared of these bugs?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by newbie32, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all, my chickens are scared of the big black stink beetles. We have them year around and since I live in the desert they are the only bug that is easy for them to find. Well several times I have seen one or two in their run and they walk away from them. Why? I want them to eat them so they can get good protein from them. They have never even tried to eat them-at least not in front of me.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Do you know which ones they are? Some bugs taste bad or have defensive mechanisms to keep animals from eating them, if your chickens are not touching those bugs, I'd bet they have a good reason.
     
  3. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its these bugs.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Looks like a `stink bug' : Compare with pics/behavior described, here: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0502.htm (site covers most of the local beetles in So.Cal. - scroll down the page to ELODES ).
     
  5. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yep I wrote in the first post they were stink beetles. But WHY wont my chickens eat them? I read that other peoples chickens do but mine wont[​IMG]
     
  6. TheChips

    TheChips Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I noticed my chickens wont eat those long pincher looking bugs. One day the female pecked at one and threw it out of her mouth. It must have tasted bad
     
  7. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well darn that really just sucks. I want them to have some free ranging bugs but other than black widows and the stink beetles we don't get much else. Oh we get flies too I guess. I am planning to build a raised bed specifically for the purpose of attracting more bugs for the chickens-plus veggies would be nice to have on the dinner table. Oh there are ants here too. The red ones, they don't eat those either. The only bug I ever saw them eat was a cricket hiding under the waterer. I want to cut down on my expenses with the feed.

    Any suggestions?
     
  8. TheChips

    TheChips Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This might sound silly, but you can always buy those chicken treats they sell at farm stores. Spread them out throughout the yard and cover it with dirt so when they are scratching around they find them. [​IMG]
     
  9. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its not silly-I already bought freeze dried meal worms and do it . they freakout when they see the bag because they know whats in there. It is the only thing they will eat out of my hand for. They are also $12 a small, and I mean small, bag. I only buy it once a month because it costs as much as 6 cartoons of eggs for just one treat. I would like to SAVE money raising chickens, or at the very least even out what I would buy for cartoons and the store.

    As of right now I am paying triple, of course they are not laying yet but I think the feed will go up when they are older[​IMG]
     
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Because they stink (and, according to the info on the site I linked to - some stink more than others). However, our chickens and turkeys ignore dried meal worms. A lot of feed preference is `learned' early in life usually transmitted by food choice by chicks' hen. Ours got moths, grubs, earthworms, watermelon and grapes (fed by surrogate human `hens'). Our neighbor's turkeys and chickens destroy their tomatoes - ours just growl at tomatoes tossed in the run (didn't encounter them until they were nearly a year old). Could be the other chickens that eat these well armed beetles were `taught' to eat them - `kinda nasty.. but protein, kids!'.

    You might consider setting up a meal worm `farm' and `grow your own', this is much cheaper and there are numerous threads on BYC about every aspect of meal worm `replication' and management. Also, IIRC, growing up in San Berdoo, myself, there were lots of moths around the lights, most of the year. You can place a white sheet in front of strong incandescent light and go out and harvest all the flying, fluttering snacks that land on the sheet, bottle them up and start tearing off the wings and tossing them into the run the next morning.
     

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