Chickens for pest control?

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by Eddy Honey, May 13, 2012.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    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? :dontknow:

    I'll keep monitoring and report back my findings.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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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. efmesch

    efmesch New Member

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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.
     
  4. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    With the difficulty my ladies had catching grasshoppers, I figure a beetle would be way past their capabilities. :lol: 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
     
  5. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Sometimes a car goes by my house lol.
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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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.
     
  7. Zulu

    Zulu New Member

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    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. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

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    Sounds like part of SHB's life cycle is on the ground so chickens may help knock out SHB's.
     
  9. reidi_tim

    reidi_tim New Member

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    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:doh:. So mom doesn't get regular chickens she has to have ugly chickens..
    ugly chicken 1.jpg ugly chicken 2.jpg
     
  10. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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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. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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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.
     
  12. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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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".
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch New Member

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    Those are chickens?
    They look like winged hat-racks. :rotfl:
    So now I know that hat racks can be put to work.
     
  14. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Guineas are good too, but tend to run a bit wild I gather.
     
  15. SkyeFeetham

    SkyeFeetham New Member

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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.

     
  16. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    No offense, but I think I'll follow a different star. :)
     
  17. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    bugs are protein. pest control sprays are poison. I'm sticking with my chickens.
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I put manure on my veggie garden, but I don't worry when I eat my veggies. Same with chickens and bugs.
     
  19. efmesch

    efmesch New Member

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    Not quite sure I follow you---did you mean that you put manure on your chickens and bugs or that you don't worry when you eat your chickens and bugs?:wink:
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    She seemed to think there would be a health problem from eating chickens that had eaten bugs. I was just saying when you eat a plant or animal, you are NOT eating what it ate.