Do Chickens Eat Spiders? Some Are Poisonous

Spiders are one of those insects that most people fear. They can be found living everywhere from inside the house to outside the house in trees, barn, and underground. If you have backyard chickens, you may wonder if they can eat spiders.

So, do chickens eat spiders? Yes, chickens do eat spiders. Most species of spiders are safe for chickens to eat. It contains a good amount of nutrition that the chickens can benefit from.

Is It OK For Chickens To Eat Spiders?

For humans, eating spiders is something that will gross most people out. However, for chickens, it’s completely natural to eat spiders.

In the wild, spiders and other insects make up the bulk of their diet. Chickens will mostly look for insects to eat since they are easy to catch, and they are plentiful.

Chickens require a lot of nutrition in their diet, especially protein. Protein is needed for muscle development and other organs in the body to perform properly.

Are Spiders Dangerous To Chickens?

Chicken Eating Food

It depends on the species of spider that’s in your yard. If the spider is poisonous, more likely it will present a danger to your chickens.

Fortunately, there are not many poisonous spiders in the U.S.

The few to watch out for have poison and can hurt or even kill your chickens. Below are the main species of spider that poses the greatest risk to the chickens:

  • Brown Recluse Spider
  • Black Widow Spider
  • Red Widow Spider
  • Hobo Spider
  • Funnel Web Grass Spider
  • Brown Widow Spider
  • Wolf Spider

Some of these spiders live only in warmer climate areas, while others live in colder climates. Therefore, it’s best to research the species of spider that’s in your location.

How Many Spiders Can Chickens Eat?

In the wild, insects make up the bulk diet for the chickens. This includes the spiders as well. 

Therefore, backyard chickens, just like those in the wild, can eat as many spiders as they want.

Spiders don’t like to like in large groups, so the chances for your chickens to eat a lot of it will highly be unlikely. In a day, your chickens may be able to eat 2-3 spiders.

Spiders are good at hiding and will try to stay far away from the chickens as possible.

What Other Insects Can Chickens Eat?

Ants

Ants are found across the entire country. They can be found almost anywhere that has soil. Ants are one of the favorite insects that chickens enjoy eating. It’s easy for the chickens to catch them, and they usually live in large colonies. Most ants are safe for chickens to eat, except for the red fire ants. Fire ants have toxins that can hurt the chickens. For adult chickens, fire ants are less likely to harm the chickens. However, for young chickens, sick, and injured ones, fire ants can hurt or even kill them.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetle is an insect that is small in size but can have a very large impact on crops. In large numbers, this beetle can destroy plants in the yard and garden. By letting the chickens roam freely, they will eat any Japanese beetle that they see. Not only will your chickens gain some nutrition from eating the beetles, but they will prevent your plants from being destroyed.

Roaches

Roaches are found everywhere from inside the house to even the chicken coop. Chickens will eat the roaches when they see them. Like most other insects, it has a decent amount of nutrition like protein and fats. This nutrition helps provides overall nutrition for the chickens.

Conclusion

Spider is an insect that is healthy and safe for chickens to eat. However, there are only a few spiders that are dangerous for the chickens to eat. You should research which spider is in your area and if it’s dangerous. Chickens that are allowed to roam freely will look and catch spiders to eat.