Ladybugs are creatures that you will find an abundance of when the weather is warm. They can be found all over the place especially in the yard and garden that has plants. Since ladybugs are insects, you may be wondering if your chickens can eat them.
So, do chickens eat ladybugs? Yes, chickens do eat ladybugs. There are different types of ladybugs and some are capable of producing a foul-smelling odor. However, the odor is harmless to the chickens.
In this short guide, we’ll through more in details about ladybugs and what benefits it has for your chickens.
What Are Ladybugs?
One of the insects that you will often see in your yard is the ladybugs.
There are over 5,000 different species of ladybugs around the world. They come in a wide range of colors that include black, red, orange, and yellow.
In the U.S., the most popular species are bright red bodies with black spots. These are found in almost all 50 states.
Ladybugs will come out during the warmer months. This means they are active from spring until fall.
When the weather turns cold, the ladybugs will look for a warm, secluded place to hibernate. This can include things such as rotting logs, under rocks, holes in the ground, or even inside houses.
The main food source for ladybugs is plants. They will spend most of the day munching away on leaves.
Health Benefits Of Chickens Eating Ladybugs
When it comes to ladybugs, they don’t offer a lot of nutrition. A ladybug consists of some protein, fats, and sugar.
While it doesn’t have enough nutrition to support the chicken’s dietary needs, it’s enough to supplement their nutrition need.
Therefore, ladybugs make a good snack for chickens.
Are Ladybugs Toxic To Chickens?
Chickens will eat just about anything that is small enough to fit in their mouth. As for ladybugs, they will peck them off the plants if they see one.
When it comes to ladybugs, they produce a foul-smelling odor. This odor is to deter predators from eating it.
This odor is not toxic and harmless to the chickens. Even though they may produce a foul smell upon seeing the chickens, the chickens will still eat them anyways.
Therefore, ladybugs contain a small amount of toxic, but it’s not enough to harm the chickens.
How Many Ladybugs Can Chickens Eat?
Since ladybugs don’t pose any risk to their health, chickens can eat an unlimited amount of it.
If you allow your chickens to free-range, they will eat as much as they can find. Ladybugs are solitary insects and like to be by themselves.
Therefore, it won’t be enough ladybugs around for your chickens to eat a lot of. At most, each chicken may get to eat about 1-2 ladybugs.
What Other Insects Can Chickens Eat?
There are plentiful other bugs and insects that chickens can eat. Backyard chickens make effective pest control units.
While keeping pests to a minimum, the chickens will also enjoy the nutrition that it offers as well.
Some of the common insects that chickens will eat are:
Beetles are high in nutrition, which makes them a great snack for chickens. If you allow your chickens to free roam, they will most likely start digging up the dirt and turning over leaves and branches to find beetles. Most species of beetles are safe for chickens to eat, so they can eat as much as they can find.
During the summer months, caterpillars are plentiful around the yard and garden. These are safe for the chickens to eat, and it’s nutritious as well. Allowing your chickens to free roam will keep the caterpillars from damaging the plants.
Grasshoppers are full of nutrition, especially protein. These insects are quick and will move away when they see chickens approaching. If the chickens are able to catch and eat them, it will make a tasty and nutritious snack.
During the warmer months of the year, ladybugs will be abundant in your yard and garden. Letting the chickens roam freely will help keep the number of ladybugs under control. Not only will it benefit your plants from not getting eaten, but they will get some nutritional value out of the ladybugs as well.