Many people like to keep chickens at home as pets. It is challenging to remove ants from the chicken feed.
How to Keep Ants Out of Chicken Feed? You can keep ants out of chicken feed by removing the broken eggs, uneaten food, and offering dry food. Moreover, keep cages clean and store food properly. Make boundaries from chalk and diatomaceous earth, spray vinegar, and pour boiling water to get rid of ants.
Raising chickens can be interesting because they are easy to keep as pets, but you have to be careful of pest attacks as their food and cage environment can pose a risk of attack to them.
Remove broken eggs
Chickens can produce nutritious eggs each day that can get broken due to a lack of calcium as the outer shell becomes challenging due to calcium deposition.
There is a risk of cracks in the thin or soft shells due to insufficient calcium intake. Moreover, the hens can also break their own eggs when they feel hungry.
You can find broken eggs in their coops that can attract insects inside.
Accordingly, you have to keep an eye on the coop and remove the broken eggs quickly. Clean the floor properly, as a small amount of yolk can become a feast for tiny insects.
Furthermore, you have to suppress the pungent odor of yolk and albumen by spraying a diluted vinegar solution with a distinctive odor.
Remove uneaten food
The presence of chicken feed in the bowl can attract ants inside the coop, as these pellets are usually a rich source of protein and other essential nutrients.
These tiny creatures have to work all day and need plenty of food to provide energy to their body cells and muscles. They cannot survive without food for long and become lethargic over time.
Accordingly, you have to remove the food source from the cage when they have eaten the required food, as an uncovered food bowl can attract these pests.
In addition, the presence of grains and fresh vegetables or fruits gives off an odor and attracts pests inside, so you have to take uneaten parts of food out.
Keep the coops clean
The presence of food crumbs on the cage floor can attract pests to the food bowl, so you have to keep the chicken coops clean.
In the same way, keeping the peripheral areas of the cage clean, such as dirt and a few food grains on the outer side, can bring them closer to coops and make them come inside.
Add diatomaceous earth to feed
Diatomaceous earth can help kill ants by causing dryness of their exoskeleton as its powder sucks all moisture from their bodies and make them desiccate.
You can mix food-grade diatomaceous earth in it to avoid contamination risks because ants do not cross this barricade due to the risk of death.
It is a natural and non-toxic substance, but it has to be added to almost 2% to 4%, and it is better to keep it around 5% for effective results.
Moreover, you can also estimate safe quantity by mixing 1 tablespoon of food-grade diatomaceous earth in 1 cup of chicken feed.
Use chalk powder
A chalk powder can become a suitable repellent for ants as its odor and chemical composition can irritate the receptors of insects. You can make a chalk boundary outside the chicken coop to repel them.
Most of these insects do not cross the chalk line and stay away from the cage, but the thickness of the boundary needs to be almost 3 to 5 mm wide.
Spray vinegar water
Vinegar can disrupt ants’ pheromone trails due to its strong odor and repels them away. However, you should dilute in water because its smell retains even after 50% dilution.
You have to mix one cup of vinegar with one cup of water to prepare a solution. You can spray this mixture on the incoming trails to the coop by pouring it into a bottle.
In addition, you can pour it directly on the cage floor after removing the chickens from it. However, it is better to remove the poop and food crumbs from the floor and then wipe it out with this solution.
Spraying a small amount of solution on the underside or periphery of the bowl can also give you good results, but you have to do it frequently as its odor disappears over time.
Proper storage of chicken feed
Ants get attracted to this feed due to its high nutritional value, so you have to store it properly to avoid their access.
Commonly, pellets can attract insects when you place the jars in wet places. However, the warmth of cabinets can grab their attention and bring them closer to packaged food or a feed bowl.
It is better to store them in a dry place at room temperature, but cold conditions are favorable. Moreover, you have to avoid direct contact with water and sunlight to keep it dry and cool.
Proper storage can not only help reduce the chances of infestations but also avoid mold growth and increase the shelf-life of the formulated products.
Use citronella, mint, lemon grass
A fresh citronella plant can keep the pests at bay, so you can keep them within the coop as they keep the internal environment refreshing and avoid pest attacks.
This plant does not pose any harm to the birds and chickens and helps protect them against undesired bites and painful stings from these crawling insects.
Lemon grass is also quite effective at repelling insects away from the chickens because it positively impacts their egg-laying abilities and prevents ants.
In addition, you can put a mint or lavender plant close to their coop, as they have a strong odor that can efficiently repel insects away from these pets.
Pour boiling water
Boiling water is the most effective solution when there are hundreds or even a few thousands of ants within the chicken feed.
It is better to throw contaminated food and pour hot water over a bowl to kill them. You have to heat water until it gets boiled and pour it directly on the trails.
Moreover, it leads to the burning of their exoskeletons because this waxy outer layer cannot protect them against high temperatures. It takes a lot of time to regrow and cover the bodies.
These insects become prone to death without this protective shell, as weather changes can directly affect body temperature. In addition, the risk of death increases due to predator attacks.
So, you can pour the hot water on ant trails, food bowls, and cage floors, but first, remove birds from it.