will chickens eat ants?

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

  1. NuthatchKnollChickens

    NuthatchKnollChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    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 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.

    Darin
     
  3. MRNpoultry

    MRNpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    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 Out Of The Brooder

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    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!

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    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 Chillin' With My Peeps

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

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    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

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    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 Chillin' With My Peeps

    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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