Do Chickens Eat Ants?

Many people with an ant problem consider keeping chickens to help keep ants at bay. You could be wondering whether chickens eat ants. Yes, chickens eat ants and other types of insects, including caterpillars, grasshoppers, worms, and spiders.

Nonetheless, your chickens won’t eat enough insects to help you deal with your ant’s problem. Moreover, chickens may not eat all types of ants, such as firearms, which can harm your chickens. Furthermore, ants alone can’t be a staple diet for chickens despite being nice treats for your chickens.

Are Ants Safe for Chickens?

While most ants and insects are safe for chickens, not all ants are safe for your birds. Red ants, for instance, can be dangerous for your chickens. These ants can sting your birds with venom that can induce pain and distress in chickens. Fire ants are also not safe for chickens.

They can kill your chickens, considering they live in large swarms. Chickens can also get sick from eating ants carrying toxic products in most pesticides that we use to keep ants and insects at bay.

Ants can also pass dangerous parasites to your chickens when the birds ingest ants. Your chickens can also contract nasty parasites when pecking and scratching on the dirt when searching for ants in your yard.

Do Chickens Eat All Types of Ants?

Although ants make a delightful treat for chickens, these birds don’t eat all types of ants. For instance, chickens hesitate to eat fire ants because they are dangerous for these birds. Although chickens will disturb fire ants’ holes to feed on these ants, fire ants tend to swarm out of their holes and attack chickens.

Their bites are extremely painful, and their swarming behavior makes them dangerous for chickens, especially for younger chickens that don’t understand how dangerous fire ants are. Fire ants can swarm over your chickens within seconds, painfully biting your birds wherever they can.

The problem with fire ant bites is that they can turn into painful blisters. Worse still, fire ant bites can lead to secondary infections; thus, they are pretty dangerous for chickens.

Red ants are also other types of ants that are dangerous for chickens. Although adult chickens can confront and consume these ants, red ants can sting the chickens with venom that induces horrible pain.

Red ants can attack your chickens, especially smaller chickens if they encounter a swarm of these ants in your yard. The entire swarm of red ants can attack your chickens all at once and cause severe injuries, if not death.

Leafcutter ants are also another dangerous type of ants for chickens. These ants are larger than other ant species. They work together in a coordinated way to launch attacks on their enemies. Therefore, these ants won’t run from chickens. Instead, they will run towards your birds and attack the birds.

Nonetheless, not all types of ants are dangerous for chickens. Black ants, for instance, are among the best types of ants for chickens. These ants are tiny and thus easy for chickens to corner and consume. Furthermore, they don’t live in large colonies like other ants, including red ants and fire ants. Chickens can make a great pest control method for black ants.

Carpenter ants are safe for chickens. Your chickens will love and enjoy munching down on these ants. They aren’t aggressive like fire and red ants. They live in large colonies, making it easier for chickens to trace down these insects.

Your chickens can have a decent meal out of carpenter ants. Furthermore, carpenter ants are prevalent in many yards across the country, and your chickens will likely find them in your yard at some point.

Do Baby Chickens Eat Ants?

Yes, baby chickens can eat ants, provided the ants are safe for other chickens. However, baby chickens will eat a negligible amount of ants; thus, they can’t help you deal with your ant problem.

Furthermore, baby chicks can only eat tiny ants that are easier to consume. Most importantly, baby chickens are too small to forage for insects on their own, so they rely on their mothers to forage for insects for them.

Will Chickens Get Rid of Ants?

Yes, chickens can get rid of ants, but it depends on the types of ants these birds eat. For instance, your chickens won’t help you get rid of red and fire ants because these two are dangerous for the birds. Instead, your chickens will avoid such dangerous ants, and therefore they won’t help you get rid of these ants from your yard.

Nevertheless, chickens can help you eliminate ants, such as carpenter ants and black ants, because they will love feeding on them. Because some ants carry toxic chemicals from various pesticides people use for pest control, ants are not entirely safe for your chickens.

There is a high risk of chickens dying from eating ants carrying dangerous chemicals. Consequently, it would be best if you didn’t always count on your chickens to eliminate the ant menace in your yard.

Ants in Chicken Feed – What Should You Do?

Ants love chicken feed, and they won’t hesitate to enter the feed container to get a taste of chicken feed. However, ants getting in chicken feed can be dangerous because you might not know whether the ants in the feed are hazardous for your chickens. Hence, it isn’t healthy to let your chickens eat their regular feed if there are live insects in the feed.

Cover the feed container with a tight seal to suffocate the ants in the feed. Give the feed to the chickens once all ants are dead. However, ensure the ants in the feed aren’t toxic for your birds. Alternatively, you can dispose of the feed, especially if there are too many ants in the feed.


Chickens can eat different ants in your yard and help you deal with your ant problem. However, not all types of ants are safe for your birds. Some can be toxic, while others can attack your chickens. Be careful with the kind of ants your chickens eat.

Also, search for other effective pest control methods because chickens alone won’t help solve your ant problem, particularly if there are large swarms in your yard.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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