Chickens do eat Japanese Beetles, yes. In fact, what insects, bugs, and pests do chickens not eat? There aren’t many!
Japanese Beetles are fine for chickens to eat. They provide some decent nutrition, do not pose any threat, and it’ll reduce the amount of damage they’re doing to the plants in your yard.
What Are Japanese Beetles?
Japanese Beetles have been growing in numbers across North America and are known to cause some serious damage to crops and plants.
I’m not a fan of any creepy crawlies and I hate to say this, but these little beetles actually have some cool colors.
They are about half an inch long and have a distinctive indecent metallic green body with copper-colored wings.
They do what most beetles do, they much on plants and crops. They are actually quite destructive in large numbers and can cause businesses growing plants some serious problems.
Are Japanese Beetles Dangerous in Any Way?
They are not dangerous to us, chickens, or other household pets, no.
Japanese Beetles do not bite, possess any toxins or anything like that. They do spray a foul-smelling odor when they feel threatened though like most beetles.
It’s not on the same level of foul as stink bugs, but it’s still pretty bad.
They do pose a serious threat to plants and crops as I’ve already mentioned though. In fact, they can be so destructive in large numbers that there are special traps designed to catch them.
Do Chickens Eat Japanese Beetles?
Chickens do eat Japanese Beetles… and other beetles …and most insects and bugs they can find!
Bugs make up a large portion of a chicken’s diet in the wild. They provide a good balance of nutrition – despite being gross to us – and chickens go crazy for them as you may have seen if you let your flock roam free-range.
I’ve spoken to a few backyard flock owners who have experienced a large number of these beetles in their yard. Most of them ended up using a trap to catch them, then feeding them directly to their flock!
If you’ve been spotting some in your yard, unless you have some prized plants, don’t worry. Your chickens will be happy to see them and there’s no danger to them.
What Bugs and Insects Can Chickens Eat?
While we’re on the topic of chooks eating bugs, here are some of the other common backyard bugs that they’re more than happy to find:
The list goes on…
Not only do these make for a nutritious snack, but they also help chickens do what they do best – scratch around.
If you’ve witnessed chooks finding a snack and chasing it around firsthand, you’ll know how much they enjoy it. It’s nature at its core.
It’s quicker to point out what they can’t eat. Which typically comprises of any bugs that are known to be toxic or poisonous.
You’d have to check what’s known to live in your area. The most likely culprits are poisonous spiders and centipedes, but incidents of chickens being harmed in the U.S. are rare.
The risk of contracting worms and other parasites is the real risk associated with eating insects. This is also not a huge risk, but something to be aware of.
If you keep backyard chickens, you’re going to be the envy of farmers that are having their crops and plants destroyed by these beetles as your chicks are going to gobble them up.
Chickens love all kinds of bugs and insects, and Japanese Beetles make for a nutritious snack. You have nothing to worry about if you have them in your yard, let your flock gobble them up.
Are Japanese Beetles Harmful? – Terminix
Image credits – Header image by Max Welt, Japanese Beetle by Caleb Bryant on Unsplash