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Chickens and Spiders

 
Janey McKitrick
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I have to know -- will my chickens eat the umpteen zillion spiders in my yard that continually terrorize me and my poor children? (I know. I'm SUCH a girl).
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Welcome to Permies!


Yes...Chickens (the ones I am friends with) love to eat spiders...yet, If I may suggest, the spiders are there for a reason. If there is an over abundance of them, I would try to find out why? Spiders have there place too, and the chickens may through the current biome off balance if free ranged in that area. If you are "arachnophobic" these feathered folk will lighten your burden, nevertheless.

Good Luck,

j
 
Janey McKitrick
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Jay C, that was a thoughtful & super helpful post. There's truth to what you say, & I need to adopt that attitude! Thank you! I definitely don't want to throw the balance off. I usually leave them alone when in the garden, but rather large ones get in my rabbit's walk-in hutch, & position themselves in a way that makes us have to deal w/ them before we can get to bunny to take care of him. I guess I'm most concerned w/ having that same problem in the coop. That would put a big damper on my excitement about hanging out w/ my Chicken Lovies.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi MB,

We human often have foible, fears, and worries...we know not there roots... The goal is not conquest...but recognition...

Now...I find that it helps clients, and other folks I work with, that if they know more about something...they are less apt to have concerns...and/or...the concerns they have are greatly reduced.

What you just described is (I am fairly confident) some form of "Orb weaver" or "Araneoidea." These "eight leg and multiply eyed folk" do indeed have a way of weaving there gossamer nets in places that we human folk tend to egress/ingress. For folks like me well over 1.8 meters (6 feet) tall this is an ongoing game of "web headed" hats...I can live with that...but there dinner scraps are often "icky."

They are general (always?) harmless unless you pick them up and/or molest them in some fashion. Even the very poisonous "black widows" (an orb weaver) is very gentle when handled kindly and with respect. All are venomous to some degree, yet most will not use it on humans...unless we make them.

Teaching kids the "trick" of feeding them small bugs can occupy a child's afternoon for hours...when they learn to make friends with these most interesting of "wee-beasties." They also do us a great service in feeding on a very large number of insect pests.

If walking into there webs is annoying (I even have words to them for blocking my path) then carry a light stick and simply "stick and spin" into them as you pass. This will give the owner time to retreat to there "hang." I do this almost daily in certain spots during the warmer months and if the owner is a large female...I will just relocate her to a more less traveled location. They have know issues with rebuilding the web and do this on their own anyway.

Good luck to all of you in living together in peace,

j

 
wayne fajkus
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I witnessed a chicken eating a black widow. Just ate it like it was a grasshopper.
 
Janey McKitrick
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Wayne- THAT'S what I want to hear. LOL Anyone got any more great "My chickens eat the heck outa spiders" assurances for me? Hehehe.

Jay C- Yes, many times they are orb spiders, and being 6' tall myself, I too can relate to the webby hat "fun". Uuugh. Sometimes I find myself coming face to.... face? with one of the scary dudes. Just not OK.
Thank you for the stick idea! I think I can handle that, and makes me feel much better! Will totally try that. Thanks again!
 
Tina Hillel
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Location: Virginia
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Had a super sized banana spider in my shed. Even my husband agreed it was scream worthy! He took a board and flung it out of the shed. The chickens pulled it apart before the spider could hit the ground! It was like watching a fight at a crab leg buffet.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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I've got arachnophobia especially when it comes to the big ones. These were making webs across our path one day when I was taking a walk around the lake in Pokhara city in Nepal. The abdomen was the size of my little finger. I didn't mind the leeches at all, in comparison!
Pokhara spider 6.JPG
[Thumbnail for Pokhara spider 6.JPG]
 
Janey McKitrick
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Tina- When the Hubby says it's scream-worthy...that's the stuff of nightmares around here. LOL
Rebecca- Oh sweet Jesus. The face you're making (assuming that's you?) - pretty much sums it up. Hehehehe

Thanks to all for your responses! Made me think, made me laugh, gave me the willies.

I'll leave this: A letter my oldest daughter left for my Husband one morning:

Dearest Father I do adore,
a favor from you I now implore.
a curious thing happen'd this day
that left me in such dismay!
A standing bath I were to take
when company I felt in my wake.
Mine eyes turned to the window-corner,
and met the gaze of an eight-legged foreigner.
An arachnid, hark! There stood on web,
"unwelcome" the least that could be said.
And of you, please, I do now pray
this spider, won't you swiftly slay?
To the shower, please, do make your way!
A hero you will be this day!

P.S.: Kill it with fire.
Love, K
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Spiders can be a pain in the rear on occasion. The only ones I tend to be very careful of are the Brown Recluses, the others will beat a hasty retreat if allowed the opportunity. When I find a Brownie I just rearrange the wood pile, leaving more air spaces tends to encourage them to move to darker places. I try very hard to not harm any living creature unless it becomes a threat to myself or others or I have a need of it to become food. Since all living things are part of the circle of life, it seems to me that we should all get along with each other as well as possible.
 
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