Crickets are found across the United States and can be found in backyards. With this insect roaming in your yard, you may wonder if chickens will eat them.
Do chickens eat crickets? Yes, chickens do eat crickets. In the wild, crickets are one of the insects that makes up the bulk of their diet. Crickets are packed with nutrition and healthy for chickens to eat.
Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Crickets?
Crickets are not venomous, so it’s safe for chickens to eat.
However, where you get your crickets from can be unsafe for them. Crickets that are caught in the wild could be contaminated with chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals are usually used in yards and gardens.
If you or your neighbor use any chemicals to treat the garden or yard, the crickets will most likely be contaminated with the chemicals. These chemicals are toxic to the chickens and could even kill them if they ingest a large amount of them.
Instead, many chicken owners will buy them from the pet store or raise the crickets themselves to feed their chickens.
If you know for sure that there are no chemicals used in your yard, you can feed the crickets to your chickens.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Crickets?
Crickets are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This makes crickets a healthy food for chickens to eat.
One of the nutrients that cricket is high in is protein. Protein is important for the health of the chickens. The nutrient is responsible for building and repairing cells and body tissues, that includes the skin, muscle, hair, and bone. Chicks need a lot of protein in their diet since they grow up quickly.
Calcium is another nutrient that cricket has a high amount of. The mineral is important for bone development, strong beaks and claws, and muscles to contract. When it comes to egg production, hens will need plenty of calcium to produce quality eggs. The eggshells are made entirely of calcium.
As for fiber, it’s important for the digestive system of the chicken. Fiber cannot be absorbed by the body. Instead, it will help bulk up the stool, which will make it move through the digestive tract without any issues.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Crickets?
Baby chickens can eat crickets, but I recommend that you wait until they are at least 3 weeks old. This will give their digestive system some time to develop properly.
Instead, the bulk of their feed should be starter feed. This feed contains all the necessary nutrition that the chicks need to grow strong and healthy. Continue to feed them starter feed until they are about 8 weeks. From then on, you can feed them grower feed to help the chicks grow quickly.
Once they are around 3 weeks, you can introduce crickets to them. It’s best to give them small crickets to start with. The chicks may not eat them at first since it’s something new to them. If they are around their mother, she will teach them how to catch and eat the cricket.
Can Chickens Eat Wild Crickets?
Yes, chickens can eat wild crickets, and it’s safe for them, only if the area has not been treated with pesticides and other chemicals.
Wild crickets can be found in all parts of North America. However, they seem to prefer cornfields, woodpiles, abandoned carvings, and old plants. The best time to find live crickets is in the late summer or early fall, when the grass is just starting to grow. This is the time of year that they are most likely to be found feeding on dead crickets or on anything that is left rotting in the fields.
If you plan to feed your chickens wild crickets, just make sure there are no chemicals used in the area that they are found.
How Do You Feed Crickets To Your Chickens
Since crickets are an insect found naturally in the environment, chickens will find and eat them on their own. As they forage for food, if there are any crickets, the chickens will peck and eat them right away.
If you rather feed crickets to your chickens, you can simply toss the insects to them. The chickens will chase and eat them.
How Many Crickets Should You Feed Your Chickens?
If the chickens are allowed to roam freely in your yard, they can eat as much as they want. Crickets will usually hide under rocks, branches, and other objects.
Crickets don’t stay in large groups, so there won’t be a lot of them at one location. For that reason, a chicken will probably not eat enough to cause them any health issues.
How Often Should You Feed Crickets To Your Chickens?
Chickens can eat crickets every day if they are free-ranging. They won’t be able to find and eat enough crickets to cause them any health problems.
On the other hand, if you’re feeding crickets to your chickens, only give them in moderation. This means giving them crickets a few times per week. At each feeding, only give each chicken a couple of crickets to eat.
Other Insects That Chickens Can Eat
Roaches are safe for chickens to eat. There are many types of roaches that exist, but the most common one is cockroaches. These are mostly found around homes. If your chicken sees any of them, they will peck at and eat them right away.
Scorpion makes a tasty snack for chickens. Like other insects, scorpions are high in protein. The scorpion has a telson that contains a pair of venom glands and a stinger. The sting from the scorpion is able to hurt the chicken. However, chickens are quick enough and will not get stung by it. Scorpions are no match for chickens, especially if there is a large flock.
Chickens love to eat spiders and will eat them at every chance they get. Most of the spiders across the country are not venomous and will not harm them. Chickens are smart creatures and will usually stay away from spiders that are poisonous, like the black widow and black recluse.
Crickets are food that makes up the bulk of their diet in the wild. For backyard chickens, they too can eat the insects, and it’s nutritious for them. Since crickets are high in protein, it makes excellent food for laying hens.