There are few creatures scarier (to me at least) than scorpions. If you’ve spotted a scorpion in your chicken coop or backyard, you need to identify if it’s dangerous or not.
Do chickens eat scorpions? Chickens will eat scorpions, yes. The challenge is eating them without being stung. As long as the scorpion is not poisonous they should get no more than a painful sting, and at best a tasty snack.
Can Scorpions Hurt Chickens?
Some scorpions can hurt chickens, yes.
There are only a few across the U.S. that can cause some serious toxicity. For the most part, they will use their tails and pincers to defend themselves but they’re no match for a flock of hungry chickens.
If you aren’t already aware of any dangerous scorpions that are known to be in your area, I’d look into it.
If you see scorpions around your yard and you know they’re not poisonous, you can leave nature to take its course. (That means allowing them to be chicken fodder).
Just be aware that chickens are a lot smaller than us. Scorpion’s venom is intended to stun and paralyze their prey, and the smaller the victim the damage it does.
Are Chickens Immune to Scorpion Stings?
There always seem to be rumors circling that some animals such as chickens, and cats, in particular, are immune to scorpion stings.
I think people say this because cases of animals being seriously injured, or even stung by scorpions are rare.
There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that a lot of animals are naturally more aware of wildlife dangers than we are and able to avoid being stung.
Also, the animals that people say are immune, like chickens and cats, have thick coats of feathers and fur. This means that even if a scorpion gets close to them, and even tries to sting them it’s often blocked by their coats.
It’s important to be aware that chickens are not immune to scorpion stings.
How Dangerous Are Scorpions in the U.S.?
Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of poisonous or dangerous scorpions across the U.S.
Two of the worst and most commonly found poisonous scorpions are:
The Arizona Bark Scorpion – As the name suggests, this little critter is found predominantly in Arizona. They’re also located in California and New Mexico, however.
Their sting is strong enough to kill an adult human. Although, more often than not a person will survive a sting – after going through a world of pain!
Therefore it’s safe to assume that the Arizona Bark Scorpion is very dangerous to chickens. If you have them in your area keep your eyes peeled for this backyard threat.
Striped Bark Scorpion – The Striped Bark Scorpion is found across the south-central U.S. from Tennessee to Illinois, and Texas.
Its sting is almost as deadly as the Arizona Bark Scorpion and it looks just as terrifying in my opinion. I’ve seen them close up – in a glass tank – and it was enough to scare me.
What to Do If Your Chicken Is Stung by a Scorpion
If you’re aware that one of your chickens has been stung, the first thing you need to do is to separate them from the flock and check them out.
There are some great over the counter medications that are fine for cleaning and treating stings. I recommend Benadryl, that’ll help relieve allergic reactions and irritation.
If it’s obvious your chicken is showing signs of toxicity or poisoning, such as weakness, not eating or drinking, laying down, etc, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
More often than not, a few days with some space of their own to recover will be just fine.
Just be aware that scorpions tend to come out more at night too. So it’s very likely that you won’t always see them.
If you notice a chicken isn’t well and you know you have scorpions or other poisonous insects in your area, always investigate if this may be the cause.
Here’s a video showing a chicken happily snacking on some small harmless scorpions in the Florida Keys:
In Summary – Do Chickens Eat Scorpions?
Chickens will eat scorpions, just as they will almost any creature small enough for them to peck away at and eat.
The only real threat is when the scorpion is poisonous.
I’ve highlighted a couple of the most common dangerous scorpions in the U.S. I advise your check with local exotic animal keepers or pest control companies to find out what’s lurking in your area.
Scorpion stings – Mayoclinic.org
Arizona Bark Scorpion – ScorpionWorlds.com
Header image by Luiza Braun, in-body image by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash