Can Chickens Eat Dubia Roaches?

Can Chickens Eat Dubia Roaches?



โ€”> Last Updated:

Well folks, I learned the hard way that chickens will eat just about anything!

Let me tell you a funny story from my early days as a backyard chicken owner.

I had just gotten my first little flock of 5 hens and built them the nicest coop.

I wanted to give them the best care so I ordered some high quality chicken feed and treats online.

One item I got was a big tub of dubia roaches to give as an occasional protein boost.

When the roaches arrived, I was so grossed out!

I could barely open the container without shuddering at the sight of all those creepy crawlies.

But my chickens went crazy for them!

I tossed a few roaches into the run and watched the chickens go to town chasing and pecking them up.

It was both hilarious and nauseating to see at the same time.

My squeamishness kept me from feeding them as often as I should have though.

That’s when I made my big mistake.

I left the tub of dubia roaches on a shelf in the coop within reach of the chickens.

The next morning when I went to let them out, I discovered to my horror that the entire tub had been knocked over and emptied out!

There were roaches everywhere, crawling all over everything!

The chickens were lazily roosting on their perches looking extremely fat and satisfied, surrounded by roach carnage.

I learned the hard way that yes, chickens absolutely LOVE to eat dubia roaches whenever they get the chance!

Are Dubia Roaches Healthy for Chickens?

Can Chickens Eat Dubia Roaches?

The high protein content of dubia roaches makes them a very nutritious supplement for backyard chickens.

Roaches contain about 60% protein, a higher ratio than chicken feed.

They provide amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that promote strong egg production.

Specifically, dubia roaches have high levels of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for proper eggshell formation.

The protein in the roaches comes from complete sources containing all the essential amino acids chickens need.

This includes higher levels of lysine and methionine than found in most feed ingredients.

See also  Can Chickens Really Chow Down on Goji Berries? This Country Boy Found Out!

In addition to protein, roaches contain vital micronutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B12, iodine, and zinc.

These nutrients bolster egg production, fertility, growth rate, and immunity in backyard chickens.

I definitely noticed a difference in my hens’ health and laying ability when I started supplementing with dubias.

Their eggshells were thicker and had deeper golden orange yolks.

Plus they started laying more frequently, sometimes an egg a day from each hen!

How to Feed Dubia Roaches Safely

Can Chickens Eat Dubia Roaches?

While nutritious, you don’t want your flock overindulging on any single dietary item.

Follow these tips for safely feeding dubia roaches:

Give only as occasional treats, not daily diet.

Feed roaches amount equal to 10-15% of daily feed.

For example, if feeding 1/4 lb of feed per chicken daily, give each hen 0.025-0.04 lbs of roaches.

Scatter roaches so chickens can’t gorge on them.

Toss them in different areas of the coop or run so the flock has to hunt for them.

Supervise free-range roach feeding.

Stay and watch the first few times you give roaches to prevent overeating.

Mix roaches into scratch grains for more controlled intake.

This makes the chickens work harder for their treat.

Limit roach feeding to 2-3 times a week maximum.

Any more than that is unnecessary and potentially unhealthy.

Are There Any Risks?

Can Chickens Eat Dubia Roaches?

As long as you take precautions, dubia roaches are a safe supplemental feed.

Potential risks include:

Fatty liver disease if overfed.

Excess protein causes liver damage in chickens.

Intestinal blockage from eating whole roaches.

Roaches should be crushed or chopped to avoid this.

Parasites or pathogens if roaches not from clean facility.

Buy feeder roaches from a reputable breeder.

Wild-caught roaches can transmit diseases.

Roaches may bite chickens if not eaten quickly.

The bites are not toxic but can irritate skin.

Make sure chickens promptly consume any live roaches given.

Monitor chickens for weight gain and lethargy.

Symptoms of overfeeding may indicate too many roaches.

The bottom line is dubia roaches make a fine occasional treat for chickens but moderation is key!

Don’t go dumping buckets of roaches in the coop like I did.

Follow the feeding guidelines and your flock will benefit from the added nutrition.

Can Chickens Get Addicted to Eating Roaches?

Chickens can develop a taste preference for dubia roaches since they find them tasty.

See also  Raising Worms for Healthy, Happy Chickens ๐Ÿชฑ๐Ÿ”

This is due to the appealing blend of fat, protein, and minerals roaches contain.

Chickens have color vision and are attracted to the movement of live insects including roaches.

They get mental stimulation and enjoyment from chasing down and capturing insect prey.

The crunchy texture and nutty flavor of roaches is satisfying to a chicken’s palate.

As a result, chickens will learn to associate roaches with a reward and seek them out.

This can lead to addictive behavior if roaches are fed too often.

Chickens may become so accustomed to the rich taste of roaches that they refuse regular feed.

Or they may obsessively hunt for roaches in the coop at the expense of other behaviors.

Limit roach feeding to prevent chickens associating it as their primary food source.

Scatter roaches widely so chickens can’t just stay put gorging on them.

Gradually reduce roach supplementation if chickens seem preoccupied with finding more.

Offer other treats like mealworms, fruits, and greens to satisfy cravings.

Monitor for weight loss or aggression in frustrated chickens denied frequent roaches.

Are Roaches a Cheaper Feed Alternative?

Dubia roaches can offer a more affordable supplemental protein source than commercial feeds.

High protein feed and treats are usually one of the biggest expenses for backyard chicken owners.

Feeder roaches can be produced at home in plastic bins for very low cost.

The only inputs are chicken feed, egg cartons, and heat.

Roaches efficiently convert feed into nutritious biomass.

Each adult roach represents about 5x the weight gain from the feed it ate.

After startup costs for bins and heating, the only ongoing expense is chicken feed.

This allows roaches to be raised for pennies compared to dollars per pound for purchased insects.

The biggest labor input is regular cleaning of roach bins to maintain hygiene.

With proper care and feeding, a couple bins can supply thousands of roaches.

This lower cost production makes roaches more scalable for flocks than buying treats.

The biggest limitation is the time and willingness to raise roaches yourself.

For chicken owners comfortable with insect farming, roaches are a frugal supplement.

What Are Good Roach Feeding Habits?

To safely incorporate dubia roaches into your chickens’ diet, follow these feeding habits:

See also  Why Your Chickens Will Totally gobble Down Chicken – The Whole Pecking Deal

Establish roach feeding as an irregular event, not a daily routine.

Feed roaches as treats 2-3 times per week maximum.

Vary the days and times you offer roaches to discourage fixation.

Scatter roaches widely to prevent chickens gorging in one area.

Spread roaches out over a large space or mix into scratch grains.

Do not free feed roaches by leaving them available at all times.

Supervise initial roach feeding to ensure proper consumption.

Monitor that chickens are actually eating the roaches, not ignoring feed.

Gradually taper roach feeding if chickens seem overly obsessed.

Cut back to 1-2 times per week if chickens become preoccupied with roaches.

Avoid feeding roaches to young chicks under 12 weeks old.

Wait until chickens are adolescents or adults before introducing roaches.

Follow suggested portion guidelines based on chickens’ age and weight.

Watch for signs of potential health issues related to overfeeding.

Can You Raise Roaches Inside the Chicken Coop?

It’s generally not a good idea to raise dubia roaches directly inside your chicken coop.

Keeping roach bins in the coop increases the risk of infestation if any escape.

Roaches could take up residence in coop walls or bedding and be difficult to eradicate.

Chicken coops provide an ideal warm, moist habitat for escaped roaches to establish colony.

Any leaks from roach bins will release hundreds of babies able to survive in the coop.

Better to raise roaches in a separate indoor area away from the chickens.

An insulated shed, garage, basement or spare room works well for roach production.

This prevents accidental introduction and minimizes the odor of large scale roach farming.

Take only the amount of adult roaches needed for each feeding to the coop.

Transport roaches in a tightly sealed tub to avoid any getting loose during transfer.

Thoroughly clean up any uneaten roaches between feedings.

Regularly monitor the coop for signs like roach droppings or molted skins.

Eliminate any roaches found to prevent chickens accessing them uncontrolled.

how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

Dream of a waddling flock of feathered friends in your own backyard?

Then stop dreaming and start hatching a plan, people!

This ain’t no chicken game. After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

I’m talking building a palace of a coop guaranteed to impress the neighbors, concocting feed for peak egg production, collecting eggs so perfect you’ll weep tears of joy – plus hilarious stories and accidental mishaps along the way.

So get cluckin’ and grab the key to creating your own morning egg paradise before I sell out!