Do chickens eat ants?

Yes! In fact, chickens rather enjoy pecking away at ants, as well as other small bugs. Ants are even a good source of proteins and minerals. The natural snacks that ants are, should not be a primary source of food, though.

Not all ants are created equal. The carpenter variety appear to be a chick favorite, sugar ants are good as well. My question? What about fire ants? I unknowingly swept away at a fire ant mound next to my patio a couple months back, with not great results for me. So, I really wanted to know if they were safe for chickens.

If your chick finds a fire ant or two, it’s perfectly fine. Keep in mind, if they get swarmed by fire ants, that’s a different story. And a story not any different from when we get swarmed. They can suffer from stings just like us. Also, eating too many fire ants can cause other types of distress, too. If you find yourself with fire ant mounds appearing, it truly is best to get rid of them yourself. But, a few pecked at here and there isn’t a cause for alarm.

A good, general rule to follow; don’t use your chicks as pest control for ants or other nuisances. They are capable of carrying disease and causing other problems with your flock. Particularly if you have an infestation of ants. However, if you practice good housekeeping and coop cleanliness, there’s no reason your feathered besties can’t enjoy a backyard picnic of their own!

Rachel Hutchins
Rachel Hutchins
The Chicken Bawks Copyeditor. Believer. Seeker. Mom. Wife. New Grandma! Crazy Kansas City Chiefs Fan. And of course, Chicken Tender.

March 20, 2023

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