Trees that attract insects to feed chickens

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by P.W. unleashed, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. I'm thinking of planting some trees near the the chicken coop that would arract insects. Somehow, I imagine a tree full of insects that find their way to the ground and the chickens eating them!

    I seem to remember a tree in Missoula packed full of some kind of little worm that was dropping all over the ground.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. kentuckyhippie

    kentuckyhippie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think the tree you are remembering is called a Catalpa tree, I'm not sure if I spelled that right. it gets full of little worms every year and they are the best fish bait in the world
     

  3. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) I think your neighbors will hate you. I sure would. The idea is to get trees these days that are as resistant to disease and insects as possible. When you don'tthe insects weaken the tree and spread disease something terrible.

    Get real and just feed your chickens what they would normally eat. They will find plenty of worms on their own.

    Do you remember when...was it in the winter and spring of 2000...? when Kentucky lost most of it's foal crop in the throughbreds? Standardbreds and Saddlebreds suffered too but the big story was the racehorses. There was a real shortage of good horses that year and the costs ran into the billions. And a lot of good horses suffered and died and if the mares managed to live and carry their foals to term, many foals were stillborn.

    Why? Because of a worm infestation on those gorgeous, old Cherry Trees in the Pastures. IT was a really terrible thing. No one had bothered to replace them with insect and disease resistant trees. They were too beautiful and too old to cut down although he owners were warned about the possible health hazards a few years before.

    Just a thought but maybe you should rethink this?

    LQ
     
  4. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the thoroughbred people need to run chickens and guineas in their horse pastures to eat the bugs? Just a thought!

    Kathleen
     
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Perhaps a mulberry tree to drop fruit?
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    There is a catalpa tree in my backyard. No worms on it at all this year. But the pecan tree was another story altogether. What the squirrels didn't steal was ruined by worms. I think a mulberry tree is a good idea too.
     
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in the South we call the Catalpa tree a Catawba tree. We have two on our property and no worms so far, but they sure do have pretty lavender blooms in the Spring!

    We have enough grasshoppers for the chicken...I can do without the worms falling off the trees!
     
  8. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I like the mulberry tree idea.

    My chicken run is around my garden, so they can hopefully cut down on some of the bugs before they go to the garden. If they aren't free-ranging, they're patrolling around the garden. What about fencing an orchard area for the chickens? Or free-ranging them in the orchard? They could help catch insect pests, clean up fallen fruit, and everyone could benefit. Mine sure enjoyed the extra pears and plums last year.

    Meg
     
  9. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Free chicken food can be accomplished by hanging a mesh sack, such as onions come in; then put meat scraps in it. This will draw flies that lay eggs which turn to maggots, the maggots drop to the ground to complete their life cycle, they seldom hit the ground without a sharp eyed chicken standing at the ready.

    This also causes a drop in the fly count because of the maggots never reaching house fly status. ;)
     
  10. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    I agree with LQ on this one, and maybe rethink this idea. If you are attracting bugs, you will be attracting wild birds. Wild birds may transmitt other disease to your chickens, such as West Nile, Avian Flu. etc.
     
  11. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    We have a huge fenced area the chickens can get into from a little doorway in their coop (it has fencing on top to keep predators out) and there's a mulberry tree next to it. They love the berries!

    I'd beware of planting anything that you know would attract bugs and worms... just because of the damage they can do. We've already got plenty of insects, worms, ticks, flies, mosquitos, etc. to keep them busy. I'm personally thinking of building a "chicken tractor" so I can move them over near my garden or anywhere else I want them to have access to the grass and bugs.

    I won't let them run free - we have too many predators around here and dogs will be dogs; they love chasing anything that might run from them. My closest neighbors let theirs run free and now they're down to 2 hens... I still have all mine.
     
  12. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    You likely have plenty of bugs for chickens right now- they're just all down at chicken level, and not up at people level where we notice them.
    If you really want to attract insects, plant some buckwheat. Much cheaper than trees.