Chickens and Scorpions

Hi all!

Have a one-year-old daughter and have found more scorpions in our home this year than all past six years combined! Agh! My husband has wanted to raise chickens (for eggs and because he loves them, lol) forever and now I am convinced because I hear they help eradicate scorpions? Has anyone had experience with this?

We also have two dogs (they go crazy over rabbits and birds on walks, so I know they will not be hospitable yard-partners) and am wondering if it will be okay if I keep the chickens in the coop while the dogs are in the back and only allowing the chicks out while the dogs are inside. Anyone have any advice/experience about dogs and chickens?

Thank you all so much--excited for fresh eggs, sweet ladies and hopefully a lot less scorpions!

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  • THANK YOU ALL! I am so grateful for your help! Looking forward to getting rid of these creatures naturally. Thank you for sharing your stories/input. I am motivated to get going!
  • YES!! I have!! My husband and I were moving a fish tank and underneath pops--no joke---a 5 inch long scorpion--tail furled ready to strike! My chicken eyeballs it and starts chasing it as I'm yelling, "no silly chicken get away--it stings!"--there wasn't even a battle--2 gulps and that scorpion was GONE! Amazing! Since then I have found 2 other scorpions and we intentionally only kill them a little to feed them to the scorpions (personal joy seeing the scorpions get eaten :) My chickens have also eaten a red racer snake and a black widow spider with no ill effects...get chickens! They are the only way to naturally rid your place of scorpions
  • I got chickens for this very reason! In fact, whenever I am doing yard work I have them running along side me. Just yesterday I was raking and unearthed 3 scorpions and my girls were right there to gobble them up. As far as dogs.... We do not have any, just cats, but a friend of mine brought her dog once on a visit. She is an extremely gentle dog and she saw my free range birds as play toys. One if the kids let her out to go potty and that is all it took. She ran after them, I know just to play, and the rooster ended up with a splinted leg for the next month. It took about 2-3 months for him to walk normal again. we were lucky. I know our outside cats are fine with the chickens but dogs are another story! My parents have 2 Australian Sheep dogs and 2 Westies and even though they were raised on the farm with the horses, sheep and chickens they will go after the chickens in a heart beat.
  • Definately some dogs will attack, but give them a chance. Basically we did what Bethanny suggested. I was paranoid for a while while I was out with the chickens and dogs I would not take my eyes of our dog Leona because she kills birds in the yard all the time. I watch the dog whisperer and I feel confident that my husband is the leader of the pack in our house and our dogs don't want to overstep his authority. It's quite fun to have them all get along, even though Leona chases them sometimes. It has been a year now and we have not lost any birds. I hear once the dog gets a taste there is no hope after that.
  • Like the others said, raising chickens and dogs together is a gamble. The number one thing to remember is to not trust the dogs at all unsupervised with the birds...I would say until you've gone at least 6 months without incident.

    Not all chickens are "immune" to scorpion stings the way people say they are. Very much like people...some are more sensitive than others to the stings. Keep in mind though, that the chickens do a good job at keeping down the populations of scorpions' prey (cockroaches, crickets, etc.) so indirectly play a role in keeping the population of scorpions down. If you know for sure that you have scorpions around...just keep benadryl on hand. The plain old 25 mg pills are fine. Some say you have to buy the non-drowsy kind, I don't think that's true. I've had no problems with regular benadryl and have administered it many times to different chickens. I dissolve a pill with warm water to give to the birds.

    I'm about to leave for another trip to Houston for another I can't go into much more detail than that right now...but if you have more questions about scorpion sting treatment and dosages for sensitive chickens feel free to message me. I'll be able to answer your message in about a week or so.
  • Hi Stephnie,
    We raised our chicks in the house. We were very watchful with the dogs while the ladies were young. But they became used to each other as part of the family. We also watched them together at first when we put them outside, but now they run and play together. We love to watch them play while we are out in the garden. They never really touch each other. If the dog gets too close, he gets pecked as a reminder. Just remember though, the dogs have years of instinct telling them that birds are for chasing and killing, so be very watchful. I like what Chris said about suprize attacks. I am not sure that I would even leave my dog out with the chickens for long periods of time. I am concerned that they will get to playing and the instinct to kill will take over. Just go slow and don't let anyone get too excited or someone may accidently get injured. Hope that all goes well.
    • Our experience is similar to Jennifer's. My mother lives in our guest house, and her dog Keiko is a Shiba Inu. We have lost five Leghorns and an Easter Egger to him over the years, sometimes despite our wing-clipping efforts. He is very merciful - chases them down in seconds, snaps their necks quickly, loses interest. They now help fertilize our fruit tree orchard. Our dog, Greta, looks very curiously at the chickens and would probably at least try to "play" with them. As for Keiko, it turns out Shiba Inus had been bred over the centuries in Japan to hunt...wait for it...small game and birds! I knew then that we could never ask Keiko to change his nature. We have a double gate leading in to the chicken area (both Keiko and those chickens can be lightening-fast getting in or out the gate) and continue to clip wings.
      If I were you, I might choose to clip and protect. The way you've been thinking it out, whatever you choose, you'll do fine.
  • The best thing to get rid of scorpions is a black light. They have them at Home Depot now that are just a little flashlight and they work great. Scorpions are nocturnal so the chickens usually have a hard time finding them all. A black light and a pair of long needle-nose pliers work great for what the chickens can't find. Just shine the flashlight around at night and grab the glowing scorpions with the pliers.

    My dogs acted like they couldn't wait to get a hold of a chicken but with a little training they now co-mingle nicely.
    I don't leave them totally unsupervised, though.
  • I have two large breed dogs and they both go CRAZY for birds and other creatures both on walks or just chasing them in the backyard. When I first got my chickens I only had one dog and I watched the birds very closely and introduced them to the dog. All went well and the dog would lay down while the birds walked around and sometimes ON the dog! She just laid there. After a while I would leave them alone and no problems. Our second dog is part pit and much more active in chasing birds and a little too interested in our chickens so I never trusted her totally. I was at work and found the chickens kept escaping from digging a whole to get out of their coop. The dogs never touched them. Hours at a time and never did anything to them. Now they all have access to each other all the time and the pit keeps trying to eat kitchen scaps with them and everything, it's hilarious.
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