Will chickens eat ants?

newchickenista

Chirping
7 Years
Jan 25, 2012
101
1
89
Southeastern, Oklahoma
I left a piece of watermelon that the chickens were eating on in the run over night. This morning it has attracted some ants. Will the chickens eat the ants or will the ants harm the chickens?
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,519
600
486
Ants will most likely sting your chickens. It won't kill them but it's not a pleasurable experience. I personally would just throw the melon out.
 

Hellinahelmet

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 23, 2012
71
4
33
Georgia
my chickens will demolish ants like there's no tomorrow. they love when i stir up a mound with a stick and they have pretty much eradicated ants from my place now.
 

TallChickMagnet

Songster
7 Years
Apr 30, 2012
1,482
55
168
Jurupa Valley, CA
Ditto!! Mine eat the little black ants that we find around here, but there are types of ant that I would keep them away from. Most of those don't live in the USA. My rule is that if it is harmful to people, then they are harmful to chickens. Here is a short four part NOVA story on some:
 
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Moonkit

Songster
8 Years
Apr 20, 2011
493
23
121
Richardson, Texas
I wish my ten liked ants.. they're the only bug we have left in the backyard and they're taking over. From what I can tell, the chickens won't touch them.
 

L3Home

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 12, 2012
33
8
22
Yakima, WA
I wish my ten liked ants.. they're the only bug we have left in the backyard and they're taking over. From what I can tell, the chickens won't touch them.
Same with my flock of eight girls! I even found a bunch of ants on a rock, and brought the rock in, thinking they'd love it! I don't know if they can't see them (these are the really small black ants; I wouldn't give my girls the stinging red ones, just in case) but they simply ignore them. They also won't eat some millipedes, even though I know they can see them, and while they used to eat the hard-shelled rollypolly bugs (pillbugs) they no longer will. I don't know if they got upset stomachs, or what, but they absolutely refuse to peck at them. They still love earwigs, soft pillbugs (potato bugs is what I call those), most beetles (there's a couple they don't like), worms, most millipedes, centipedes, craneflies, etc. I actually brought some shale rocks into their run and set them in a formation in the center of the run. About once a week, I roll each rock over so they can scratch under it and eat the earwigs that live under them. Any time we find ants, though, they ignore them. It's odd.

Edit: Oh, and crickets! I can actually hold those out to them... I did that just the other day, found one in an old soda can and held it out to one of my girls, and she did this happy, surprised, squeeky cackle and snapped it right out of my fingers.
 
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