will chickens eat ants?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NuthatchKnollChickens, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. NuthatchKnollChickens

    NuthatchKnollChickens In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2008
    Ithaca, NY
    I've finally finished my coop and am about the start the run and I just noticed that there is a pretty good sized ant hill in the run area. Does anyone know if the chickens will just dig this up and eat the occupants, or should I dig it up and try to get rid of the things before I move the chickens in? These are mediaum sized black ants. I'm in upstate NY and I don't think we have any ants around here that are really aggressive or, gulp, carniverous. Any thoughts?
  2. Darin115

    Darin115 Songster

    Apr 28, 2008
    Asheboro, NC
    My girls devour ants. When I am splitting wood they hand out waiting for me to bust one that is full of black ants. I pitch it to them and they inhale them.

    Are these ants fire ants? I would not want to put them in a coop with a fire ant mound in it. I am not sure what would happen.

  3. MRNpoultry

    MRNpoultry Songster

    Mar 2, 2008
    Gibsonville, NC
    My chickens love ants. They free range and when the find a ant hill they will eat almost all the ants.

    I ain't sure about fire ants, but most animals know what to eat and what not to eat.
  4. NuthatchKnollChickens

    NuthatchKnollChickens In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2008
    Ithaca, NY
    No, I'm pretty sure they aren't fire ants - I don't think we have those around here. They look kind of like small carpenter ants - but they are nesting in the ground and not in dead wood so they probably aren't carpenters.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My SO isn't that fond of chickens. When he saw my chicks destroy a fire ant hill and devour the ants, he started liking them just a little bit more. [​IMG]
  6. pixiechick

    pixiechick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Jonesborough, TN
    Ants were the first bugs my chickies caught. Daisy was an especially avid exterminator. I was sooo proud.[​IMG]
  7. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    Mine don't [​IMG]
  8. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Our baby chicks are natural ant harvesters! They love to run around after them..... organic ant control [​IMG]
  9. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Some will and some won't, just depends on the chicken. There used to be an ant hill in the run of my coop, but now there are just hollows where the chickens have been dust bathing. [​IMG]

    I think the ants gave up and moved, personally.
  10. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    My chicks are ant killing machines! They hate to see an ant on the other side of their run!

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