Cockroaches are grossed out by humans whereas chickens feel differently for them. Chickens love to eat cockroaches. When it comes to chicken’s diet, a curious question arises: “Can chickens eat cockroaches?
Chickens are often associated with pecking at grains and foraging for insects. The inquiry into whether chickens can consume cockroaches not only sheds light on their omnivorous tendencies but also raises fascinating points about nutritional benefits and potential implications.
In this blog post, we will discuss if chickens can eat cockroaches, and explore the potential benefits, nutritional considerations, and the broader implications of introducing these resilient insects into our poultry diet.
Can Chickens Eat Cockroaches?
Yes, chickens can indeed eat cockroaches. Chickens are omnivorous which means they eat both plant-based and animal-based foods. Chickens normally scratch and peck at the ground to find insects, worms, and other small creatures, including cockroaches, as part of their diet.
Are Cockroaches Safe For Chickens?
Yes, cockroaches can be safe for chickens to eat as part of their diet if they are sourced from a clean and pesticide-free environment. Cockroaches are a natural source of protein and can offer nutritional benefits to chickens.
Protein Source for Chickens
Cockroaches can be a valuable source of protein for chickens. These insects are rich in nutrients such as protein, fats, and amino acids.
By adding cockroaches to the chickens’ food, you can give them more protein. This can make the chickens healthier and might also help them lay better eggs.
Nutritional Benefits Of Cockroaches For Chickens
Protein is a vital component of a chicken’s diet which contributes to feather development, muscle growth, and overall vitality.
The amino acids found in cockroaches can supplement the essential amino acids already present in grains and other feed.
This supplementation can be particularly beneficial during molting and egg-laying periods when the birds have increased nutritional demands.
Are Cockroaches Bad For Chickens?
Although there are benefits of feeding cockroaches to chickens, there are some risks as well.
Cockroaches affected by pests can pose risks if consumed by your chickens. They may transfer harmful substances to chickens.
Cockroaches themselves are not the primary carriers of diseases however, they can pick up pathogens from their environment and then transfer them to chickens.
I am mentioning possible diseases that can be transmitted to the chickens if they eat infected cockroaches,
Salmonellosis can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, decreased egg production, and general lethargy in chickens.
E. coli Infections
Chickens that consume cockroaches affected with E. coli can develop gastrointestinal symptoms and may become carriers of the bacteria, potentially passing it on to other chickens.
These parasites can affect the gastrointestinal tract of the chickens and lead to digestive disturbances.
Chickens consuming infected cockroaches may contract avian influenza, leading to respiratory symptoms and, in severe cases, death.
Chickens consuming infected cockroaches might develop coccidiosis which affects the intestinal tract and can lead to diarrhea, weight loss, and decreased growth.
Symptoms Of Too Much Protein In Chickens
First, we should look at the recommended protein intake for egg-layer chickens and meat-production chickens to know if our chickens have excess proteins.
|Bird Type||Age||Crude Protein (%)|
|Pullets||0 to 6 weeks||20.0 to 22.0|
|6 to 14 weeks||16.0 to 18.0|
|14 to 20 weeks||14.0 to 16.0|
|Laying||> 20 weeks||15.0 to 19.0|
|Breeding||Mature||14.0 to 18.0|
|Bird Type||Age||Crude Protein (%)|
|Broilers||0 to 4 weeks||20.0 to 23.0|
|4 to 8 weeks||19.0 to 20.0|
|> 8 weeks||15.0 to 18.0|
|Pullets||0 to 4 weeks||18.0 to 19.0|
|4 to 12 weeks||17.0 to 18.0|
|12 to 22 weeks||15.0 to 16.0|
|Laying||> 22 weeks||14.0 to 16.0|
|Breeding||Mature||14.0 to 16.0|
If your chickens are consuming extra proteins as per the above recommended guidelines then you will notice some symptoms such as,
- Weight gain
- Excessive feather growth
- Swollen abdomen
- Excess energy
- Feather pecking
- Reduced feed intake
If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs then you would have to stop providing your chicken with excess proteins.
Do Chickens Attract Roaches?
Chickens themselves do not typically attract cockroaches but their coop can attract roaches. Cockroaches are generally attracted to environments with readily available sources of food, water, and shelter.
They are opportunistic scavengers and will thrive in places where they can find crumbs, food scraps, and moisture. Chicken coop is the place where cockroaches find all these things.
How Many Cockroaches Chickens Can Eat Per Day?
The number of cockroaches that chickens can eat per day can vary based on several factors, including the size and breed of the chickens but it is always recommended to feed them 1 or 2 cockroaches.
How To Hunt and Feed Cockroaches To Chickens?
I am going to provide you with my secret tip on hunting roaches for your chicken and then serving them. I do not offer cockroaches daily to my chickens but when I do, I hunt like this.
- Maintain a sizable compost pile of leftover food and this will attract cockroaches.
- Place used egg cartons atop the compost heap.
- Roaches naturally seek refuge when they sense fear then they will hide in the egg cartons as it provide an ideal hiding spot.
- In the morning you should lift the egg carton and transfer it into a bag with caution.
- I was able to hunt around 10-20 roaches with this technique and sometimes 0 as well. Hard luck you can say.
- Put cockroaches in a small bucket and feed 1 or 2 to each chicken.
- Ensure that your chicken fully consumed the cockroaches.
How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Chicken Coop?
If you find some cockroaches in the chicken coop then you can leave it for the chickens and they will eat it. If there are too many then they have to be removed, because too many cockroaches can be dangerous for chickens health.
Cockroaches can be removed from the coop in many ways some people use chemical spray which can be dangerous for chickens but we recommend you to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of cockroaches from the coop.
Just sprinkle it in the coop and it is completely safe for chickens and you do not even need to remove the chickens from the coop at the time of sprinkling.