myrmica rubra and chickens

marthacr(z5 Me)May 2, 2011

Does anyone know for a fact whether chickens will eat European red ants (myrmica rubra?)

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

I cannot be sure although I know chickens will eat ants. Chickens, like many other birds, will also use these ants to help clean mites off their skins, something called by us "anting".

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 6:44AM
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tracydr(9b)

I think guineas do a better job at ant and tick control.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:22PM
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marthacr(z5 Me)

I can't do guineas as I am in a residential neighborhood and wouldn't inflict their screeching on my neighbors. It would have to be chickens or bantams. I have emailed my state university ant research group to ask this question also, but so far have received no response. I have been told that chickens do eat the southern fire ants, however myrmica rubra are different in that they are sugar ants. In light of the fact that I am not finding a definitive answer, I'm trying to envision an experiment where I can confine ants and chickens together and see if the ants disappear are ingested.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:37PM
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