One of the most annoying things is seeing a fly buzzing around you. You get impatient and swat the fly. If you have backyard chickens, you may wonder if you can toss the fly to them instead of throwing it away. Do chickens eat flies and is it safe for them?
Do chickens eat flies? Yes, chickens do eat flies. However, the chance of them eating a fly is rare since they are not quick enough to catch them.
Are Flies Safe For Chickens To Eat?
Most species of flies are safe for chickens to eat. They don’t have any toxins that could harm the chickens.
However, flies are not clean animals as they feed on poop, animal carcasses, and other unsanitary things. All of these things will have harmful bacteria which will attach themselves to the flies.
Do Flies Carry Bacteria?
The simple answer is yes. Flies are unclean creatures, usually feasting on unsanitized objects. These things will usually have some type of harmful bacteria on them.
Flies land on trash cans, rotting animal flesh, manure, fecal matter, spoiled foods, and other unsavory surfaces. Dysentery, cholera, and typhoid are just a few of the diseases that can spread.
These pathogens will get ingested by the flies or attach themselves to the flies. Either way, when the chickens eat them, the bacteria will get pass down to the chickens.
Different types of flies, such as cluster flies, houseflies, and stable flies are known for spreading over 200 pathogens and parasites to humans.
Why Avoid Wild Flies?
Flies are scavenger animals, which means they eat stuff that has been left behind.
When there is a dead animal or pile of fecal matter left behind from your pet or other animals, the flies will most likely be on it. It’s normal and natural for them to do that.
Humans will not want to handle these objects ourselves, so we would not consider letting the chickens touch them either.
Wild flies are unclean creatures and are found on objects that are unclean. These objects will usually be contaminated with harmful bacteria and pathogens.
Therefore, it’s highly recommended not to feed wild flies to your chickens.
What Other Foods Can Chickens Eat?
Instead of flies, there are plenty of other foods that chickens can eat and are much healthier for them. Below are some other foods that you can feed our chickens:
Feeds should make up the bulk of their diet. Commercial feeds are formulated with the right amount of nutrition for your chickens. There are different types of feed made for each chicken at different ages.
When buying feeds, make sure to buy only quality feeds. There are many feeds on the market with some not formulated with enough nutrition in them.
Dragon fruit is packed with minerals and vitamins. It’s a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and iron. This makes them a healthy treat for chickens. However, you’ll want to feed dragon fruit to your chickens in moderation. It has a lot of water content, which can cause them to have digestive issues when fed too much.
Mango makes a tasty treat during the summer months. This fruit is high in water, which helps keep them hydrated. Besides that, mango is packed with vitamins and minerals. Make sure the mangoes are ripe first before giving them any. Unripe mangoes are tough and could cause the chickens to choke on them.
Pineapples are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals. This fruit is especially rich in vitamin C and manganese. Due to their high level of sugar and water, only feed pineapple to your chickens in moderation.
Artichokes are low in fat, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is great for giving them chicken as a treat. Make sure to cook the artichoke first, so it will be easier for them to peck at and eat it.
Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. It also has a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron. All these nutrients are vital to the chicken’s health. When feeding them bell peppers, only feed them the flesh and seeds. Other parts such as the stem and leaves should be discarded as they contain solanine. This is a toxin that’s very harmful to chickens.
Jackfruit makes a great treat for chickens. This fruit is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and other important vitamins and minerals. Only the yellow flesh part of the jackfruit should be fed to your chickens. The rind is too tough for them to peck through and eat.
Flies themselves are safe for the chickens to eat, but it’s not a good idea to feed them to your chickens. Flies are scavenger animals that always feed on things that are dead or rotten. These things will usually have harmful bacteria and other pathogens. Chicken that eats flies could risk getting these harmful bacteria into their body. Therefore, it’s best to try not to catch flies and feed them to your chickens.