Chickens for pest control?


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  1. #1
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    Chickens for pest control?

    Since turning my chickens loose they like to hang out around the hives to scratch around and eat bugs and grass.

    At the same time, I've noticed no more hive beetles and mites and I also haven't used traps this year.
    Earlier in the year, before the chickens got turned loose during the day, I saw mites on a few bees and drone larvae. I check for pests every inspection but none show up.

    So it has me wondering if the chickens are eating the bugs before they enter the hives?

    I'll keep monitoring and report back my findings.


  2. #2
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    Back before the mites and shb got here, the chickens kept my hives totally free of wax moths. I haven't had chickens since the mites came.


  3. #3
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    The chickens could be eating the SHBs but not the varroa---they spend their entire lives in the hive or on bees. There''s no way that the chickens are cleaning the mites off the bees.
    Proud member of the Beekeeping Forums,
    (middle-east division)
    From the land flowing with milk and HONEY

  4. #4
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    With the difficulty my ladies had catching grasshoppers, I figure a beetle would be way past their capabilities. Finally had to stop the free range when they decided to try and hitch hike down the highway, "Hey trucker, need a passenger?" Figured they'd end up on the grill of a Kenworth.

    Walt
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  5. #5
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    Sometimes a car goes by my house lol.

  6. #6
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    I was told that chickens eat bees. So I Haven't turned my chickens loose near the bees.
    I can see them thinning the varroa by catching bees slowed by and dying of the mites?
    They could definitely get some moths, maybe shb.

    I have fences.
    The older I get, the better I get at doing the right thing, letting it go, and lounging in my computer chair going, gee, I should do some work! Bees are plumb easy when you have been through as much as I have.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    I was told that chickens eat bees. So I Haven't turned my chickens loose near the bees.
    I can see them thinning the varroa by catching bees slowed by and dying of the mites?
    They could definitely get some moths, maybe shb.

    I have fences.
    Nope they avoid bees, but I have heard but never saw it, that they will eat Drones they come across, somehow they know the difference.
    my chickens ranged around tHe hives and always avoided any bees on the ground

  8. #8
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    Sounds like part of SHB's life cycle is on the ground so chickens may help knock out SHB's.
    Thanks and mahalo in advance as I need all the help I can get. Hopefully I can help you in return in other areas as I've been around the block a "few times".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iddee View Post
    Back before the mites and shb got here, the chickens kept my hives totally free of wax moths. I haven't had chickens since the mites came.
    So what is the connection between the mites varroa and or travheal and the chickens? Mom got some chickens this year and granted they are as far away from the house and the chickens ( or more so as far away from mom as possible ). Mom is a hard to understand person 5' 1" and maybe 90 lbs she has no problem pushing the Belgium horses around like they are a small kitten, but deathly afraid of the bees. So mom doesn't get regular chickens she has to have ugly chickens..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Education is the bane of ignorance. (Roy & H.G.)

  10. #10
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    Your mom picks cool chickens. We had one just exactly like the one on the right in your second pic. He was so much fun to watch, skittish is an understatement. The 4th of July nearly did him in He ran from on side of the property to the next every time someone set off a fire cracker a block away. But he was a great hunter. I saw the the other chickens chase him across the yard when he had a tarantula in his mouth and the next time a small grass snake. He could outrun them all, and was proud of what he found Coyotes ended up getting him along with the rest of them.

  11. #11
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    Those are some cool chickens! I just got some Black Australorp chicks today, they will look more normal. The coop for my older hens is almost built. It is on the bee lot.
    The older I get, the better I get at doing the right thing, letting it go, and lounging in my computer chair going, gee, I should do some work! Bees are plumb easy when you have been through as much as I have.

  12. #12
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    My brother had a terrible tick infestation / invasion in his yard and bought some guineas. They cleaned up the ticks in no time at all. They are very good "watch dogs" also. No one drives up without them sounding an alarm.

    But as with chickens, they have very poor "bathroom" manners and anywhere the feeling strikes is where they "go".
    Bamabww (Wayne)

  13. #13
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    Those are chickens?
    They look like winged hat-racks.
    So now I know that hat racks can be put to work.
    Proud member of the Beekeeping Forums,
    (middle-east division)
    From the land flowing with milk and HONEY

  14. #14
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    Guineas are good too, but tend to run a bit wild I gather.
    The older I get, the better I get at doing the right thing, letting it go, and lounging in my computer chair going, gee, I should do some work! Bees are plumb easy when you have been through as much as I have.

  15. #15
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    I think you should have pest control services because chickens eating these bugs and we eat them it's better to avoid these kind of things because it's a serious matter of health.


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