For years, I have known that chickens enjoy eating many bugs in the yard, including ticks. In my years of keeping backyard chickens, I have never found a tick on the flock, yet I know they are lurking in the yard. Yesterday as I was out refilling the coop waterers, I was a bit disturbed-perched, waiting and ready to hop on board to a warm, blood-filled body was a dog tick. So I decided to do a little experiment.
To keep pests including bugs, mites and lice at bay, I use Manna Pro’s Poultry Protector, food grade diatomaceous earth and the nesting box blend. I have had great success incorporating these three products into our routines. As you probably already know, It is virtually impossible to kill a tick by squishing it. Their strong exoskeletons are like a suit of armor. Could the tick survive the FGDE? There was only one way to find out. If my experiment was a success, I knew that FGDE should work in a matter of hours.
I sprinkled a bit of FGDE into a plastic container and then added the tick. Once the tick had self-applied the FGDE, I placed it into another container and waited. I checked on it after 9 hours. It was still alive and active. I placed it on the table and it tried to escape. I placed it back into the container.
This morning, 24 hours later, I went out to check on the tick. it was dead. Dog ticks may have tough exoskeletons but they are no match for FGDE. One more thing I was glad to have confirmed on my chicken keeping adventures.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest
4 thoughts on “Backyard Chickens and Ticks”
Good to know! I use a combo of DE and eucalyptus/lemongrass oil blends to keep ticks off of my pets, both furred and feathered.
I've seen a decrease in activity, but it's nice that someone has visual confirmation that the DE kills the ticks!
The oils are also effective, I add them to pet collars and sprinkle a light spray over my bedsheets to prevent any nightly insect visits.
Great experiment, Melissa! Good to know it works. I use it on roosts and in nest boxes especially.
Awesome experiment. I knew DE worked but am glad to read such a scientific study. That should quiet all the naysayers. Great post!
That is So good to know! I love experiments…especially when they turn out the way we hoped.