Do Chickens Eat Spiders? 4 Excellent Benefits

You may have seen your chickens pecking around in the dirt and wondered what they were eating. Chickens are omnivores and will eat a variety of things, including insects. So, do chickens eat spiders?

The answer is yes! Most spiders are safe for chickens to eat and can even be good for them. Chickens can eat most spiders without any problems. Many spiders are good for chickens.

Spiders are a good source of protein and other nutrients and can help reduce the number of bugs in your yard. If you see your chicken eating a spider, there’s no need to worry. Here’s everything you need to know about chickens and spiders.

do chickens eat spiders

Do chickens eat spiders?

Chickens are naturally curious creatures and often peck at anything that catches their eye. This includes insects like spiders. Chickens usually only eat a spider if they’re hungry and there isn’t anything else to eat.

However, some chickens develop a taste for bugs and actively seek them out even when other food is available.

If your chicken regularly eats spiders, there’s no need to worry. It’s perfectly normal behavior and won’t hurt your chicken if the spider doesn’t bite them or carries a disease.

Many people believe that allowing chickens to eat insects is good for them. Eating bugs can help boost a chicken’s protein intake and keep them healthy overall.

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The benefits of eating spiders for chickens

If you’re like most people, the idea of feeding spiders to your chickens might make you feel a bit queasy. But the fact is, spiders are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients that can benefit your chickens’ health. Here are five reasons to add spiders to your chickens’ diet.

Spiders are an excellent source of protein

Chicken’s bodies need protein to grow and develop properly. And since spiders are loaded with protein, they make excellent food for chickens.

Spiders are rich in essential vitamins and minerals

In addition to being high in protein, spiders are also a good source of essential vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium. These nutrients are important for a chicken’s health, so feeding them spiders is a great way to ensure that your chickens get all the nutrients they need.

Spiders can help improve your chickens’ egg production

One of the main benefits of feeding spiders to your chickens is that it can help improve their egg production. When chickens consume more protein, they tend to lay more eggs. So if you’re looking for ways to boost your chickens’ egg production, feeding them spiders is a great option.

Spiders can help keep your chickens healthy and free from disease

Another benefit of feeding spiders to your chickens is that it can help keep them healthy and free from disease. A diet that includes plenty of protein helps a chicken’s immune system function properly, which in turn helps them fight off diseases and infections more effectively.

Spiders are a natural and environmentally-friendly food source for chickens

One final benefit of feeding spiders to your chickens is that they’re a natural and environmentally-friendly food source for chickens. Since spiders don’t require farming or raising, they have a very small environmental impact compared to other sources of chicken feed, like soybeans or corn.

Things to watch out for when feeding spiders to chickens

black spider

Chickens are predatory animals, and spiders are a good source of protein. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you start feeding spiders to your chickens.

Make sure the spiders are safe for chickens to eat

Not all spiders are created equal. Some spider species are poisonous, and others may carry diseases that could harm your chickens. So, before you start feeding spiders to your chickens, make sure you know what kind of spiders they are and whether or not they’re safe for chickens to eat.

Monitor your chicken’s reaction after eating spiders

Some chickens may be allergic to spider venom or have a negative reaction after eating spiders. So, it’s important to monitor your chicken’s reaction after eating spiders and discontinue feeding them if you notice any negative effects.

Don’t overfeed your chickens spiders

Finally, it’s important to remember not to overfeed your chickens spiders. Like any other food, too much of a good thing can lead to health problems. So, feed your chickens a moderate amount of spiders and supplement their diet with other protein sources.

How often should chickens eat spiders?

Feeding spiders to chickens is a great way of ensuring that your birds get the nutritious proteins and minerals they need for good health. Spiders are small and contain plenty of nutrients, making them an ideal food source for free-range chickens.

As such, it’s important to give your birds ample opportunity to find and consume spiders. Generally speaking, free-range chickens naturally seek out spiders – and other insects – whenever these prey items appear in their environment.

However, if you want to take the guesswork out of it and make sure that your chickens are well-nourished, there’s no harm in introducing spiders into their diet as often as possible.

How to prepare spiders for feeding to chickens

chicken rooster

Whether found in the coop or nearby foliage, spiders are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients for chickens. Fortunately, there’s no need to catch or prepare the spiders beforehand – chickens can find them on their own.

When given the opportunity, chickens will instinctively hunt down spiders and crunch away at their exoskeletons. However, if you find any particularly large or dangerous spiders on your property, it’s best to remove them so that they don’t pose a risk to your animals.

Can baby chickens eat spiders?

Yes, baby chickens can eat spiders. It’s beneficial for them to do so as they need ample amounts of protein while they’re growing.

However, it’s important to monitor your young chickens closely when giving them access to spiders since they’re more susceptible to the diseases that some spiders may carry.

Are spiders dangerous to chickens?

chicken feeding

With so many spiders living in the US, it’s natural that we’d want to know if they’re dangerous to chickens. But the good news is that not many kinds of poisonous spiders are found in the US. Even if one were to bite a chicken, the venom is only potentially harmful if it can get into the bloodstream through a wound or an eye.

Even if a chicken ingests spider venom directly, it would be harmless. That said, for any of this to happen, a spider would have to bite a chicken – which is highly unlikely, given how hard it is for spiders to bite something as large as a chicken.

While it’s possible that larger-than-average spiders could bite very small or young chicks, overall, you can safely rest assured that your chickens will remain safe from any serious harm posed by spiders in the US.

All in all, the risk posed by spiders – while real – is quite low. As long as proper safety measures are taken and precautions put in place, there should be no reason for undue worry over a spider threat!

Which spiders will chickens eat?

Which spiders will chickens eat? Let’s take a look at five of the most common types of spiders and find out.

Orb weavers

Orb weavers are large spiders that build the classic spiral webs you often see in movies and TV shows. These spiders generally don’t pose a threat to chickens, as they are not aggressive and prefer to avoid confrontation.

However, if a chicken catches one of these spiders, it will probably try to eat it. In most cases, the spider will be too big for the chicken to swallow whole, so the chicken will probably end up pecking at it until it dies.

Daddy long legs

Daddy long legs are spider-like creatures with very long legs and small bodies. Contrary to popular belief, daddy long legs are not spiders – they belong to a different group of arachnids known as harvestmen.

These creatures pose no threat to chickens, as they are not poisonous and pose little danger of harming the chicken. Chickens sometimes try to eat daddy long legs, but they usually don’t catch them due to their small size and quick movements.

Garden spiders

Garden spiders are common household pests that can be found in gardens all over the world. These spiders pose no threat to chickens, as they are not aggressive, and their bite is not harmful to humans or animals.

Chickens sometimes try to eat garden spiders, but they usually don’t catch them due to their small size and quick movements.

Jumping spiders

Jumping spiders are small spiders that get their name from their ability to jump long distances. These spiders pose no threat to chickens, as they are not aggressive, and their bite is not harmful to humans or animals.

Chickens sometimes try to eat jumping spiders, but their small size and quick movements generally result in the spider getting away.

Wolf spiders

Wolf spiders are large, hairy spiders found in many different habitats worldwide. While wolf spider bites are not generally considered harmful to humans, they can be dangerous to chickens if the chicken is bitten multiple times or if the spider can inject a large amount of venom into the chicken’s system.

If you have wolf spiders on your property, keeping your chickens away from them is best to avoid any potential problems.

What other bugs and insects can chickens eat?

japanese beetle

When most people think of chickens, they think of these animals scratching around in the dirt, eating anything and everything in sight. However, did you know that there are certain bugs and insects that chickens love to eat? Here are five insects that can provide your chickens with a diverse and nutritious diet.

Slugs

Slugs are one of the easiest insects for chickens to catch and eat. Chickens love to eat slugs because they are soft-bodied and easy to digest. Plus, they are a good source of protein and other nutrients.

Read More: Do Chickens Eat Slugs? Yes, With Some Risks

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are another type of insect that chickens love to eat. These beetles are known for destroying gardens, but they can be a healthy treat for your chickens.

Read More: Do Chickens Eat Japanese Beetles? 5 Amazing Benefits

Cicadas

Cicadas are a type of insect known for making a lot of noise. Chickens enjoy eating cicadas because they are soft-bodied and easy to digest.

Read More: Do Chickens Eat Cicadas? 5 Excellent Benefits

Ants

Ants are small, but they pack a punch when it comes to nutrition. Chickens love to eat ants because they contain a lot of protein. Ants are also a good source of other nutrients like iron and zinc.

Read More: Do Chickens Eat Ants? 5 Awesome Benefits

Hornworms

Hornworms are a type of worm that is popular among chicken owners. Chickens love to eat hornworms because they contain protein and other nutrients.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Hornworms? 5 Surprising Benefits

How to give chickens a healthy and balanced diet

A varied diet not only provides your chickens with the nutrients they need to stay strong, but it also helps to keep them entertained and stimulated. Here are some tips on creating a healthy and balanced diet for your chickens.

A healthy chicken diet consists of three main food groups:

  • Greens: This includes dark, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli. Chicken love greens and they are packed with vitamins and minerals essential for their health.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Chickens enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, tomatoes, carrots, and grapes. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Grains: Grains like oats, wheat, and barley provide essential carbohydrates that help chickens maintain their energy levels. Grains also contain important vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium.

In addition to these three main food groups, chickens also need access to fresh water. Water helps to regulate their body temperature and keeps them hydrated.

It’s also important to ensure that your chickens have access to grit. Grit is a mineral that helps chickens grind their food in their gizzard. Without grit, chickens cannot properly digest their food and become ill.

Do chickens eat spiders – final thoughts

Can chickens eat spiders? Yes, most chickens will naturally eat spiders if they’re hungry and there isn’t anything else to eat. However, some chickens develop a taste for bugs and actively seek them out even when other food is available.

If your chicken is regularly eating spiders, there’s no need to worry as long as the spider isn’t venomous or carrying a disease. Many people believe that allowing chickens to eat insects is good for them!

Jill Taylor Happy Farmyard

Jill Taylor

Jill is a full-time homesteader who enjoys learning about sustainable living and practicing self-reliance. She'll most likely be found tending to her many animals including chickens, ducks, goats, and alpacas. You find out more about her on LinkedIn.