do-chickens-eat-slugs

Chickens are often raised in backyards to produce eggs or meat, and sometimes simply to provide entertainment. 

Slugs are not considered to be a chicken’s favorite meal, but they will eat them if given the opportunity. 

In fact, they may even prefer slugs over other foods if they’re provided no other alternatives, such as fresh greens, insects or worms. 

Chickens are omnivores and do need protein in their diets to maintain optimum health, so occasional slug consumption shouldn’t be considered harmful to your flock if you make sure that you provide plenty of other food options as well to keep them healthy and happy. 

In this article, we’ll look at the Do chickens eat slugs, along with other facts about these interesting creatures.

Is It Safe for Chickens to Eat Slugs?

Slugs are one of the most common garden pests, and they can do a lot of damage. 

They can destroy crops by eating them or leaving behind a slimy trail. If you want to keep your garden healthy, it’s important to know how to get rid of slugs. It may surprise you that chickens are actually quite effective at controlling the population.

Slugs are a great source of protein and calcium that chickens need in their diet. If you have never raised backyard chickens before then start with small batches of slugs or worms until you get used to how your birds react to them.

But there’s some risk. Eating slugs can cause your chickens to become sick with coccidiosis, a parasitic infection that causes diarrhea and weight loss. It’s also possible for your chickens to choke on the slug or get it stuck in their throat because it is so slimy and gooey. 

If you’re going to feed your chickens slugs, make sure they are small enough not to pose these risks. Here we have explained about these risks in detail.

do-chickens-eat-slugs

1 Parasite

Slugs are carriers of dangerous parasites. A study by the USDA found that slugs can carry over a hundred types of parasites, including the rat lungworm and E. coli, which can cause serious illness or even death in humans. 

The problem is not just that slugs are gross and slimy to handle, but also that they pose a serious risk to your health. 

Chickens love to hunt for these pests in the ground and up on plants looking for food. 

However, chicken owners should be aware that it’s best not to feed them slug pellets or slug bait since these products often contain substances harmful to chickens. 

And even if you only give your chickens a few slug pellets or slug bait every day, they’ll soon build up a resistance to the toxin making them toxic to other animals as well.

do-chickens-eat-slugs

2. Choking Hazard

Chickens will eat slugs if they can find them. But there’s a high risk of choking hazard for chickens that could be caused by the slug and chicken bones. 

The small pieces of bone may become lodged in the windpipe and cause suffocation. 

If you have noticed your chickens eating slugs, we recommend keeping an eye on them while they are eating so you can help should something go wrong. 

In addition to this, make sure there are no other hazards nearby such as any leftover food or sharp objects.

Learn More about Why are Snails So Slow?

3. Slug Pellets

Pellets are a type of dry food that chickens love and are made from high-quality ingredients. They are easy to store and come in large quantities so you can feed your flock as needed.

Pellets help ensure that your chicken’s diet is nutritious and balanced, with all the protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids they need to stay healthy. 

Pellets have a higher energy density than scratch grains, which means they contain more calories per pound. This can be a good thing if you have bigger breeds or older birds who need extra sustenance or don’t spend much time foraging outdoors.

Slug pellets are usually made of metaldehyde and they work by luring slugs to their death with a delicious, moist scent. 

The best time to sprinkle this stuff around your property is when the slugs are most active – typically from April-October in warmer climates and from November-March in cooler climates.

Will Chickens Eat Snails Too?

While they are not the most common slithering creature you might find in your garden, snails and slugs do get into a person’s yard occasionally. 

If you have chickens, this is an excellent opportunity to offer them some new food that they might not ordinarily eat.

It is worth knowing that chickens will eat snails, but they probably won’t eat snails because of the slime on the body of the snail. So if you see a snail or slug in your garden, go ahead and drop it off near your chicken pen where it will make for a very interesting treat.

do-chickens-eat-slugs

How do chickens eat slugs with the hard shell on?

There are many ways that chickens eat snails. To start, they will just drop it on the ground and eat it there, but the hard shell usually protects the snail from being eaten. If it’s a big snail, chickens will swallow it whole and then do the slug dance. 

The slug dance is when they shake their head back and forth to break up the snail in their mouth before swallowing them. 

Once swallowed, it starts to work its way through the chicken’s digestive system where enzymes can break down tough shell parts.

Can You Use Chickens to Control Slugs?

Chickens have been shown to be effective in controlling slugs. Chickens are natural predators of slugs and snails, which is why they are so good at this. 

You can use chickens to control slugs by providing them with a source of fresh water and moist ground, as well as a safe place to hide from predators. 

Chickens will eat the slugs found around your property if you give them the opportunity. 

They may also provide a benefit for gardens since they’ll help fertilize the soil with their droppings. 

They’re omnivores that like insects and small vertebrates, so it’s beneficial for them to eat slugs too! It’s not just about eradicating one pest for another but about finding balance in what goes on your land.

If you want to learn more about using chickens for pest control or backyard chicken keeping, we recommend reading our other articles.

Summary

It is difficult to answer this question definitively. It is well known that chickens love worms and slugs are closely related to worms, but there are no hard and fast rules about whether chickens eat slugs. 

Some sources say that chickens will eat slugs if they can get them into their mouths, but others say that the slime on a slug’s skin is enough to make a chicken spit it back out. One thing all of these sources agree on, however, is that chickens won’t bother with eating slugs if they don’t have to.

For example, in times when food isn’t scarce or other insects are more abundant. The real difficulty arises from the fact that a chicken doesn’t always have time to differentiate between an insect and a snail before it swallows it whole.

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