will chickens eat fireants?

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Asking for a curious coworker. They are about to purchase their chickens (free-range) and wanted to know if the birds would help with their fire-ant problem?


-- otter (kitchen@eng.fsu.edu), February 07, 2002


My Barred Rocks and Wyandottes don't, not adult ants anyway. I've tried this several times to no positive result.


-- Alan (athagan@atlantic.net), February 07, 2002.

I have a friend who says hers did, but my numerous free range chickens in Texas never touched the fire ants(probably too many hoppers to take care of;). My brother one time through a fire ant nest over the fence to his chickens thinking they would eat them. Not only did they not eat them, but the ants climbed up to where his broody hen was nesting and he lost the hatch.

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), February 07, 2002.

Otter: I'm not sure if we are talking the same ants, but we have these mean little beasties that are red and black and when they bite, it feels like fire! We didn't have them in the suburbs, but were unindated with them on our homestead. We tried everything to get rid of them. They even built about a 3 foot high in one of the outbuildings. We took huge shovelfuls out and then burned the pile. Nasty critters! However, we purchased three guineas last spring and by the end of summer we could not find hardly any on the whole place. I'm not a great lover of guineas, but they are earning their board and room.

-- Marie in Central WA (Mamafila@aol.com), February 07, 2002.

otter, ask your local County Extension Service. I am amazed how little this valuable service is used and it's our tax dollars that pay their salaries! Our office, here in the northwest, was ready with all kinds of help, hand outs and advice on Carpenter Ants so I would think in your area they would be up to speed on the fire ant problem. Also, many members that post on www.poultryconnection.com live in the South and of course keep chickens, guinias etc and I think they would help you with this. Some of them are biologists, chemists and what not. That is the pits isn't it? Makes me shiver to think of those things. Good luck, I hope you will get back to the forum and let us know how it goes.

-- Little Quacker (carouselxing@juno.com), February 07, 2002.

We don't have fire ants here, but the ants we do have, the chickens won't touch.

-- Duffy (hazelm@tenforward.com), February 07, 2002.

I have one word for fire ants...


-- westbrook (westbrook_farms@yahoo.com), February 07, 2002.

Unless they've changed the label there used to be some wording on it about not using it within fifty feet (or somesuch) of food plants, wells and the like. Sure didn't take long for the fire ants to figure that out.


-- Alan (athagan@atlantic.net), February 07, 2002.

Some of my chooks eat the fire ants, others don't. Where the chooks don't go, the food grade Diatomaceous Earth takes care of them. The DE works as fast or faster than Amdro and won't hurt any of the critters who eat it. (DE is part of their diet anyhow!)

-- ~Rogo (rogo2222@hotmail.com), February 07, 2002.

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