Pest Control

My chickens are good at many things. Laying eggs is the obvious one. Being down right adorable is another. The 3rd, and less often praised talent that my chooks posses, is as pest controllers. On more than one occasion, I’ve watched a chook grab a beetle larvae or a moth that would otherwise have invaded one of my bee colonies. You go girls!

Scratching and foraging for beetles is okay, as far as it goes, but enjoying a beetle feast soaked in vegetable oil is more to their liking. My chooks are nothing if not connoisseurs and I am their favourite chef.

small hive beetle

small hive beetle on comb

hanging beetle traps

beetle trap hanging on top of frames

Every time I inspect my beehives I empty the beetle traps. I dump the small hive beetles that drown in the traps on two little posts in the retaining wall in my garden. I use veggie oil from my kitchen in the traps so bees (and chickens) don’t have any nasties to deal with. After being dumped, the beetles magically vanish into thin air. I used to wonder what happened to them. Now I know.

Here are my girls enjoying a free lunch.

Chooks eating the SHB leftovers

Like I said, adorable!


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
This entry was posted in bees, Chickens, Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Pest Control

  1. I am always looking for new ways to improve pest management; I will store this information for later use…thank you.

    • Yeah, it’s funny how the pest management aspect of chickens is so often not mentioned. I guess because to get the real benefits of their talent, you really need to let them run through your vegetable patch eating caterpillars – at which time they eat all your vegetables. A major flaw in their design, I’d say 🙂

  2. pattigail says:

    Clever girls! They don’t miss a trick. Isn’t it wonderful how it all works?

    • I was nervous in the beginning about how the chickens and bees would interact. Would the chickens eat the bees (people have told me they would) would the bees attack the chickens (why wouldn’t they) and so on – turns out they ignore each other while the chickens waddle around the hives looking for those tasty beetle larvae (a real treat with plenty of protein-goodness). They are all clever, chickens and bees alike, and live in harmony – there’s a moral in there somewhere.

  3. Emily Heath says:

    Keeping chickens and bees seems to go really well together!

  4. vuchickens says:

    So great! And way too adorable.

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