Mosquitoes are one of those insects that’s very annoying to have around. They are notorious for biting and leaving the skin itchy. These insects are all over the place, especially at night. If you have chickens in your backyard, you may be wondering if they can eat mosquitoes.
Do chickens eat mosquitoes? Yes, chickens will eat mosquitoes. These insects don’t have much nutrition, but chickens will eat them when they have a chance to.
Is It Bad For Chickens To Eat Mosquitoes?
The mosquitoes themselves don’t have any harmful substances that could hurt the chickens. But, mosquitoes are known to carry deadly diseases with them. If the mosquitoes are infected with a disease, they could pass it to the chickens if they eat it or the mosquito bites them.
Some of the diseases the mosquitoes can pass down to chickens include:
- West Nile
- Yellow Fever
- Avian Pox
The chances of your backyard chickens getting infected by one of the diseases above are rare. However, you should be cautious when there’s a spread of the disease in your area.
How To Feed Mosquitoes To Chickens
Chickens will naturally peck and eat the mosquitoes when they have a chance to. More than likely, mosquitoes are stealth insects and will fly around unnoticed.
If the chickens do notice them, they may try to catch them with their beak and eat them.
As for trying to catch mosquitoes just to feed the chickens, it’s not a good idea. Mosquitoes don’t have any nutritional value that’s worth the time catching and feeding to them.
How Many Mosquitoes To Feed Chickens?
There’s really no limit to the number of mosquitoes that chickens can eat. These insects will fly around the chickens all the time. Due to their size, it will be hard for the chickens to catch and eat them.
For that reason, the chickens can eat as many mosquitoes as they can catch.
Can Mosquitoes Harm the Chickens?
It’s highly unlikely the mosquitoes will harm your chickens. Chickens have thick feathers that the mosquitoes and other insects will have a hard time penetrating.
However, other parts of their body such as their legs don’t have feathers and mosquitoes can bite them. The good thing is that mosquitoes are nocturnal and will only come out at night.
At night, chickens will usually go into the coop and sit in their nestbox with their legs and feet tucked into their feather.
Other Insects That Chickens Can Eat
Ants are high in protein content and a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Ants are plentiful in the backyard and if there are, you may notice the chickens are always around them.
Due to their small size and contain no toxins, chickens can pretty much eat as many ants as they want.
Crickets are loaded with nutrition and make a great treat for chickens. During the summer, crickets are plentiful in the backyard and around the home. Chickens will go after them and eat it whenever they see one.
One thing you need to be aware of is the chemicals that could contaminant them. If you use chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides in your yard, the crickets could ingest some or it could be on their body. As the chickens eat the crickets, they could get sick from it.
Grasshoppers are packed with nutrition such as calcium, protein, and fiber. This makes them an excellent treat for chickens. Since grasshoppers are naturally found in the environment, chickens will try to catch and eat as much as they can.
Beetles are an excellent source of protein and calcium. There are hundreds of species of beetles around the world. Most that are found in your backyard is safe for the chickens to eat. Chickens will eat beetles whenever they can find one.
However, there are one species of beetle you need to be aware of. Blister beetle is a species of beetle that has a toxin known as cantharidin. This toxin is very dangerous and can kill the chickens if ingested.
Mosquitoes are pesky insects that no one wants to be around. For chickens, since they are outside, they will be exposed to mosquitoes all the time. These insects can sometimes be irritating and the chickens may try to catch and eat them. If they do, mosquitoes don’t pose any danger to the chickens.