During the spring and summer, beetles will start to appear in your yard and garden. For that reason, you may wonder if your chickens will eat beetles.
So, do chickens eat beetles? Yes, chickens will eat beetles. In the wild, their main diet consists of insects and plants. There are many types of beetles that exist. Most are safe to eat since they are small and don’t pose any threats to the chickens. However, beetles spray a chemical when they are threatened. Fortunately, it is not strong enough to harm the chickens.
Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Beetles?
Most beetles are small and don’t pose any threats to the chickens, so they are safe for chickens to eat.
Beetles have a defensive mechanism when threatened. They will spray chemicals from their rear to ward off the predator. For many predators, it will be enough for them to back off and leave the beetle alone.
Fortunately, the chemicals that they spray aren’t toxic enough to do any harm to the chickens.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Beetles?
Beetles are packed with nutrition, especially protein. According to National Geographic, beetles are among the richest insect sources of protein.
However, the amount of nutrition will depend on the type of beetle the chicken eats.
Besides protein, beetles have a good amount of calcium, iron, and zinc.
As for protein, this nutrient is essential for chickens. It helps with many bodily functions and helps produce quality eggs as well.
When it comes to calcium, chickens need this mineral for bone development and produce strong eggs.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Beetles?
Baby chickens can eat beetles, but due to instinct, they know not to eat them. The beetles are too big, and chicks will usually try to stay clear of them.
Once they are older, they may get curious and try to eat one. The chicks will go after smaller one like the potato beetles.
Can Chickens Eat Japanese Beetles?
Japanese beetles are invasive creatures that can destroy plants in the garden and yard.
If you let your chickens free-range, they’ll most likely try to catch and eat them.
Japanese beetles spray a toxin when threatened, but it’s not strong enough to harm the chickens.
Therefore, chickens can safely eat Japanese beetles. Also, letting your chickens in the yard will help keep these beetles from damaging your plants.
How Do You Feed Beetles To Your Chickens?
When it comes to feeding beetles, chickens will usually find them on their own. They will forage for beetles and other insects all day long.
How Many Beetles Can a Chicken Eat?
If you let your chickens free-range, they can eat as much as they can catch. Beetles don’t usually stay in groups, so a chicken may find a few of them a day.
If you catch beetles for your chickens to eat, give them a few beetles to eat. Giving them too many beetles could cause them to become full, which will prevent them from eating their staple diet of chicken feed.
How Often To Feed Beetles To a Chicken?
Since beetles are natural prey for chickens in the wild, the insect can be fed to them daily.
Again, free-ranging chickens will find and eat them as they are foraging.
Beetles aren’t insects that can be found in abundance in the wild. If you go catch them yourselves, you may find a handful of them in an hour.
Therefore, beetles are safe for chickens to eat every day.
Other Insects That Chickens Can Eat
Cricket is an insect that makes a tasty and nutritious treat for chickens. Like many other insects, crickets are high in protein, which is essential for chickens. Chickens that free-range will forage and eat crickets as they find them.
Grasshoppers are another insect that can be fed to the chickens. It’s packed with nutrition, especially protein. Chickens will try to catch and eat grasshoppers that are allowed to free-range.
Spiders can be fed to chickens, but you’ll need to watch out for the poisonous ones. Due to instinct, free-ranging chickens will usually stay away from spiders such as the black widow and brown recluse spider if they come across one.
For non-poisonous spiders, they offer plenty of nutrition for the chickens.
The beetle is one of the insects that makes up the majority of its diet in the wild. Most types of beetles are safe for chickens to eat since they are small and don’t have anything that could harm them.