Free-range chickens naturally eat many of the pests and weeds in your yard. They aren’t trained to do so; it’s their natural instinct. Chickens bought from a feed store are housed in a chicken coop or controlled environment and fed grain and scratch. These chickens have not developed the skills to live freely and don’t know what to do. A few tips and tricks will train these chickens to freely eat pests such as slugs and locusts from your yard. Have a question? Get an answer from a veterinarian now!
Introduce pests into the chicken's diet. Catch crickets, grasshoppers, worms and other yard pests and place them into a container with a lid. Throw them in with the chicken feed so the chickens establish a taste for these treats.
Change your feeding habits. When you purchased the chickens you were probably told to give them chicken feed every morning and evening. A well fed chicken has no reason to eat pests out of the yard. Withhold the morning feeding and let the chickens out into the yard for that meal.
Let chickens graze throughout the day. Provide buckets of water in several locations and let the chickens wander freely to explore their surroundings.
Fill a pail with chicken feed as the sun sets. Shake the pail so the chickens hear the feed in it. Sprinkle feed inside the pen and let the chickens go inside. Some of the chickens may not understand what is going on at first but over time they will get used to the ritual. Feeding this way supplements a chicken's natural diet and controls the pests in your yard.