Do chickens eat hosta?

deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)September 6, 2011

Our cute chicks from last year are now full-grown free-ranging hens. We've got 5 hens, 2 guinea hens, and have added eleven more this summer. So, now that my hostas are looking really really shabby, I'm beginning to suspect that chickens eat hosta leaves. This is the first year I've had shabby leaves, so am I right in suspecting the chickens? They do have one nest in the hostas, but that's kinda good because then at least I know where some of the eggs are.

The chickens do some damage, but less than I thought. As far as bugs, practically none, so Yahoo! chickens! I sure wish I could get them high enough to eat aphids off the tall flowers, too.

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sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)

Mine don't, but they do scratch in them and shred them looking for insects. Those black Blister Beetles completely them to the ground, though. They totally destroyed mine this summer. But they are growing back now. :) That doesn't mean your chickens aren't eating them though.

Praying Mantis and Walking Sticks eat aphids though. I am always happy to see them in my gardens. :)
~Annie

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 3:29AM
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deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)

Scratching sounds reasonable, because they look more shabby than chomped-on. Makes sense!

I would love to see some aphid lovers in my lawn. I've seen a small few ladybugs, and haven't noticed any Praying Mantis or Walking Sticks. Of course, walking sticks may be hard to notice! Pretty good Halloween costume those guys have.

Speaking of Praying Mantises, thought you might enjoy this picture of one from my mom's house in Costa Rica where she has lived for 20 years. I had not seen one like it. It has a flared back that looks like a leaf from above (see it in the first picture?). One of many interesting creatures we saw!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 8:06PM
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greyandamy

I was told by garden center that chickens eat STINKBUGS, that are horrible around here. I laughed, as I stated nobody in this area has chickens. The lady stated some do... so that's a plus!IF stinkbugs are a problem.

amy

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 8:50AM
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blaketaylore

Hi Deanna,
Well you know me and hostas! My chicks are freerange from about 10 Am to 3 PM.I have not seen them eat the hostas. They seem to like to eat mint and ferns leaves the most. I haven't seem them eat any of my flowers like the echinacea. Yes they do a great job at eating bugs. I have trained the chicks to stay out of my vegetable garden. And sometimes I wish I hadn't done that becasue that is the only place where I have grasshoppers! My chicks love tomatoes; and I guess I am afraid they would peck at my tomtotoes if they got in my garden. Then again, they would only get the ones close to the ground so maybe I should encourage the news ones to go in there.
Costa Rica sure has some pretty fancy walking sticks!

Blake

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 9:33AM
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sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)

That is a very cool Mantis! Wow!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 3:16PM
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