Termites are good chicken feed



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Content: Termites are a good source of protein for your chickens. Trap termites in special compost piles or in jars of dry cow dung and feed them to your chickens.

Do your chickens get enough protein, that special kind of food that birds, animals, and people need to stay strong and healthy? Chickens get some protein by eating bugs and worms that they find in the soil. But, depending on where they are able to scratch and pick up these natural foods, they might not be getting enough protein. They will be healthier, bigger, and lay more eggs if they have more protein. Of course, you can buy protein feeds, but they’re very expensive. However, termites and other insects are a good, no-cost source of protein for your chickens—and chickens like to eat termites.

In some parts of the world, farmers trap termites for chicken feed by building a sort of compost pile. For example, Somchai Dockpikun, a farmer in Thailand, chooses an area of his yard where he knows termites are likely to be living under the ground. There he makes a pile of bits of garbage, dry leaves, rotting tree bark, straw, and grass. He puts water on the pile to make it moist and builds a fence around it. After a couple of days, lots of termites have gathered in the pile and he lets the chickens in to eat. This is one simple way to attract termites as feed.

John Tufuor, a teacher at an agricultural training college in Ghana, has another suggestion about how to collect termites.

“The materials needed,” he says, “are a porous clay (earthenware) pot, dry cow dung, and some water. Here in northern Ghana, we gather dried cow dung in buckets in the dry season when it dries fast. Then we store it until we want to use it.”

John explains how you can trap termites.

“To trap termites, moisten a quantity of the stored cow dung and fill an earthenware pot with it. Take the filled pot to a field in the morning. Here, early in the morning, tracks of red termites can be easily identified in open fields. They look like miniature, caved-in tunnels, and you can see termites moving in the tracks. Overturn the pot, placing the mouth right across one or two termite tracks. Because termites are attracted to the dung, they’ll soon find the pot. After about a day, there will be many termites in the pot. Take the pot to the place where you feed and water your chickens and empty the dung and the termites for them.”

So there are two ways of trapping termites to feed to your chickens. You can build a small pile of organic materials, like a compost pile, over an area where you know termites are living. Or, if you can collect cow dung and dry it, and you know where there are termite tracks, then you can collect termites in a pot of dry cow dung that you’ve made damp with water. You can then feed the termites to your chickens.


You may want to use this item in association with:

Feeding chickens for better production – Package 15, Item 4

Information sources

1. DCFRN participant John K. Tufuor, Teacher, St. Andrews Agricultural Training College, Mampong-Ashanti, Ghana.