Are you looking to increase your chickens’ protein intake? Then you may have wondered if dubia roaches are safe for your birds to eat.
Many chicken keepers raise colonies of crickets, beetles, mealworms, and other bugs to feed their chickens. But what about dubia roaches? Can chickens eat dubia roaches? Are they safe or will these critters harm your chickens? Let us find out.
Can Chickens Eat Dubia Roaches? (The Quick Answer)
Yes, chickens can eat dubia roaches as a snack and love it! Dubia roaches contain tons of protein, calcium, and vitamins for your birds. They are also low in fat and calories. Dubia roaches are a lot easier to raise than crickets and other bugs. Female dubia roaches breed prolifically and the tiny larvae and adult roaches are easy for chickens to peck at.
Dubia roaches aren’t fast enough and, at the same time, have just enough movement to keep your chickens mentally stimulated. All in all, if you choose to feed dubia roaches to your chickens, it is a great choice.
6 Benefits of Raising Dubia Roaches to Feed Your Chickens
Here are the benefits of raising dubia roaches to supplement your flock’s balanced diet:
They Are High in Nutrition
Many chicken owners feed dubia to their birds that need an extra protein boost- during a molt, after an illness, etc. Dubia roaches are also packed with vitamin D3, phosphorus, and calcium. Chickens need these nutrients for healthy joints.
The best part is that dubia roaches are low in calories and fat. This means your birds won’t gain unnecessary weight.
They Are Odorless and Quiet
Many chicken owners raise crickets, mealworms, and other bugs to supplement their flock’s diet. However, many of these bugs are quite smelly. Dubia roaches, on the other hand, are completely odorless.
Furthermore, they are completely silent. Unlike crickets, which chirp all night, dubias are extremely quiet. You won’t even know they are there.
They Don’t Bite or Attack
Another advantage of keeping dubia roaches to feed your chickens is that they are docile bugs. They don’t attack or bite. You and your birds won’t have to worry about them sinking their mandibles into your skin.
They Breed Prolifically
Each adult female dubia roach will lay around 35 nymphs every other month. They also continue reproducing and do not die off within weeks or months, as beetles and crickets do.
They Don’t Kill Each Other
Mealworms, crickets, and beetles often eat each other. Not your roaches. They are a peaceful and docile bunch that co-exist happily without harming each other.
Your Chickens Will Love Grabbing Them!
Chickens love to peck at insects and bugs. Dubia roaches are perfect for this activity, as they are not too fast and cannot make a quick getaway. At the same time, they move just fast enough to grab your chickens’ attention. This makes them interesting for your birds to peck away at. This provides your birds with mental stimulation and joy as well.
Does a Chicken Eat Cockroaches?
Most chickens eat all kinds of bugs while pecking away at the grass, and foraging for food items. This includes roaches as well.
Your chickens will gladly eat wood roaches and dubia roaches. Certain varieties of roaches, like German, American, and stink roaches, may not be tasty for your chickens as they give off a foul odor. Naturally, your chickens might avoid those.
In some cases, well-fed chickens won’t eat roaches, as they are simply too lazy to chase after and peck at them!
If you have an infestation of roaches in your garage, you can set up a trap and capture some live ones to feed to your chickens. Do avoid using chemicals like foggers, sprays, etc. to kill the roaches, as these pesticides could harm your birds.
What Are The Healthiest Bugs for Chickens?
Chickens love eating all kinds of bugs. Here are some of the healthiest bugs for your flock:
Chickens love mealworms and they are an excellent source of protein. Mealworms contain nearly 17-20% protein, depending on their size. You can scatter meal worms around your chicken coop and your pets will have a fun time pecking away at the wriggling critters.
Waxworms are another juicy, protein-rich bug option for chickens. They contain roughly 15-20% protein, though they are higher in fat compared to mealworms. Worry not- waxworms are small in size so your hens will have to eat hundreds before they gain unhealthy levels of weight.
Calci worms, also known as black soldier fly larvae, are not only rich in protein (around 35-40%) but also contain calcium. Calcium is especially important for laying hens. Calci worms contain almost 50 times more calcium than mealworms. Their small size also makes them perfect for feeding baby chicks 3 weeks and older.
Earthworms are a great natural source of protein (approximately 60-70%) and chickens relish eating them. They are not only protein-rich but also offer a variety of essential nutrients to your hens. You can easily find earthworms in your garden.
Maggots are a beneficial snack for chickens as they are high in protein, containing approximately 40-60% protein content. They can aid in your birds’ growth and overall health.
Do Chickens Eat Ants ?
Yes, one of the main advantages of raising chickens is that they keep your yard bug-free. Ants are among the many bugs that chickens eat. These pests are usually drawn to chicken coops due to the food scattered there or the broken eggs.
Most chickens will eat all varieties of ants – red, black, etc. Ants offer a diverse range of nutrients to chickens, including protein, calcium, phosphorus, and certain vitamins. The protein content of ants varies but generally ranges between 15-20%, depending on their size.
Do note that chickens won’t actively seek out ants to eat. They might simply eat them when they eat grass clippings or while foraging for dirt or seeds on the range.
Some ants, like fire ants and carpenter ants, could harm your chickens. Their bites can be extremely painful. If you have these ants on your property, please take the steps to eliminate them. Always opt for methods like pouring boiling water or sprinkling food-grade diatomaceous earth around the anthills. Avoid spraying the anthills with chemical pesticides, as they could make your chickens very sick.
Will Chickens Eat Mosquitoes?
Yes, chickens do eat mosquitoes, which is why pest exterminators recommend keeping backyard chickens to curb their populations.
Chickens love pecking away at all kinds of bugs and mosquitoes are one of them. You might see your birds snapping away at mosquitoes as they buzz around their coops.
Naturally, chickens won’t actively seek out mosquitoes and they are not their primary food source. Mosquitoes are also quite small and they fly super fast. This makes it difficult for chickens to catch them. Consequently, most chickens prefer larger, easier-to-eat bugs like worms, grasshoppers, slugs, roaches, etc.
Key Takeaways – Can Chickens Eat Dubia Roaches?
Yes, chickens can eat Dubia roaches; they are a nutritious snack high in protein (about 23-35%). Dubia roaches are docile and do not attack or bite. They also run away slowly, which encourages your chickens to run after them. This, in turn, promotes natural hunting behaviors and stimulates your pets mentally.
Raising Dubia roaches is also relatively easy; they thrive in a controlled environment and are odorless and silent. Their gentle nature and nutritional value make them an ideal supplement in your chickens’ diet.