will yellow jackets eat live chicks?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paul Wheaton, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    missoula, montana
    We're about to move some three week old chicks outside into a pastured poultry setup. But we have yellow jackets really bad right now. About 100 yellow jackets per square foot.

    Since the yellow jackets are looking for meat, will the chicks be safe?
     
  2. Buckrun

    Buckrun Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    184
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    OH.

    A trick my father in law showed me to get rid of yellow jackets. Take a 5 gal. bucket, tape the handle up. Then tie a string to the handle so it hangs down in the bucket. Tie a piece of bloody liver to the end of the string so it hangs about half way down in the bucket. Put some water in the bucket so it has a few inches in the bottom. You want the liver hanging 4 or 5 inches below the rim of the bucket. The yellow jacket will land on the liver and pig out. then when they try to fly out they are to heavy and fall in the water and drowned. No evil pesticide needed! It works.

    Doesn't answer your question about the chicks being safe but might help.

    Steve
     

  3. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Messages:
    3,471
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    We've got the little buggers around here, as well, although not in the serious proportions you have! I haven't had a problem with them bothering something as large as a chick, but they have helped out with the pest insect population, so I leave them be.

    Well, I also leave them be because the nest is on the neighbor's property, and I'm allergic, but hey, they haven't given me reason to get mad at 'em yet, either.


    Meg :)
     
  4. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,126
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Oregon
    :) Hi, This is an excerpt from a paper on the Yellowjacket:

    "The diet of adult yellow jackets consists mainly of food rich in sugars and carbohydrates, such as plant nectar and fruit. Also, foraging adults search for meat that is high in protein, such as insects and fish, which they chew and condition in preparation for larval consumption. The larvae in return secrete a sugary substance that is consumed by the adults. This exchange of food between the adults and larvae is known as trophallaxis.

    In late summer and fall, the normal food materials are in short supply, so the yellow jackets scavenge for alternate food sources which many times leads to major conflicts with human activities. Late-season foods include carbonated beverages, juices, candy, ham, bologna, fish, cakes, fruit, vegetables and ice cream. Large numbers of these pesky insects can totally disrupt a picnic and are often a nuisance around homes and outside restaurants. "

    It seems when it gets hot they get extra testy too! I would not worry a bit about the chicks getting "eaten"...however I would worry about them getting attacked and stung to death by grumpy insects. I guess in your situation I wouldn't put my ducklings in a situation like that. I would just put them in a safer pen until the weather cools down some and tensions ease off.

    Hope all goes well....LQ
     
  5. BigRyan

    BigRyan New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Holy Cow! A hundred per square foot? Sounds like you should invest in a case of Wasp and Hornet spray. Either that or make your own B movie, "Attack of the killer wasps".How in the world do you guys survive in an area with that many Yellow Jackets?
     
  6. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    SouthEastern Illinois
    IMO yellow Jackets are very smart.
     
  7. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    missoula, montana
    They did manage to kill one chick. Not sure what happened, but we had one chick that was still alive and dozens of yellow jackets ate a sort of tunnel through it.

    I ordered 21 yellow jacket traps today. One of which connected to a five gallon bucket. Time for war.
     
  8. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    459
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Location:
    WA
    Hey Paul keep in mind that once the weather drops and he yellow jackets dissipate--once you get chickens in a building/coop you will never have a yellow jacket in there again. We get yellow jackets here too and any building or barn that has or had chickens/fowl never has another nest of them because the chickens are a predator of insects and yellow jackets--apparently the chickens just have to be bigger. You should only have to get through them this year and then just keep the chickens in there and presto no more bees. :) We also discovered anywhere we put a bird feeder outside the yellow jackets leave that area too this has worked in the hay barn, porch by the house, shed and we let the barn swallows nest in the garage so they keep them out of there too. Good Luck!
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Paul

    Yellow jacket traps may have the opposite effect you desire. The attractant will bring yellow jackets from several nests to the general area of the traps. Although you will catch hundreds of wasps, the density of wasps in the area of the traps will more than double.

    The traps work best in the spring (in areas without perennial nests) because the queens do all the work, including food foraging, until their first brood is ready to work. If you capture a queen you eliminate a nest. Now, at this time of year, the queens do NOT leave the nest and are laying more than a hundred eggs a day.

    Another technique for the traps is to set them out in a matrix a few weeks before an outdoor event. After a few weeks of daily maintenance and a day prior to the outdoor event, the traps are removed. This will create a day, or maybe two at best, of less yellow jacket workers in the immediate area.

    good luck
    Gobug
     
  10. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    missoula, montana
    We have chickens and turkeys on the loose to eat the yellow jackets. But there are just way too many.
     
  11. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Paul,
    I've been thinking all day about your chick that was killed and eaten by the yellow jackets. Just based on my experience with the pests, I am guessing the chick pecked the wrong spot and they came out in force. Several stings may have killed the poor thing. Then after it was dead, it just looked like dinner.

    I suppose if you have that many yellow jackets and you've only lost one chick, you're doing ok. Do the turkeys really eat them? I'd say sell the traps and buy more turkeys. You don't have to empty the turkeys.

    I've often seen dogs snap at them and bees in the garden.
     
  12. I'm thinking of emptying all of these dry traps into a 55 gallon barrel. And then feeding them back to the chickens in the winter.