Chickens are a brave species in that they will eat just about anything that crosses their path, including scorpions. Although chickens can eat some scorpion species, all scorpions can potentially pinch your chickens, and some may even be toxic to them.

Still, the chances of your chicken being struck by a venomous scorpion is relatively low. Not only are chickens and scorpions rarely active at the same times, but the chicken’s feathers make it difficult for the scorpion to puncture the chickens’ skin.

Keep reading to learn more about whether it is safe for chickens to eat scorpions.

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Do Chickens Eat Scorpions?

Although scorpions are not high on the list of delicacies preferred by chickens, a chicken will eat a scorpion if the bird happens to stumble upon one. After all, chickens are known to be vicious scavengers that will eat just about anything they can get their beaks into.

It is relatively rare for chickens to eat scorpions because the two creatures are not active at the same time. Scorpions are nocturnal, whereas chickens are diurnal (meaning they are active during the day). Because of their different schedules, it’s rare for chickens and scorpions to pass one another, which is a requirement for a chicken to eat a scorpion.

chickens eating
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Are Chickens Immune to Scorpions?

Many people assume that chickens are immune to scorpions because of how few fatalities there are. Though its true very few chickens die from scorpions, chickens are NOT immune to them. If your chicken were to be stung by a venomous scorpion, the results could be fatal.

There are two types of venomous scorpions in the US: the Arizona Bark Scorpion and Stripebacked Scorpion. Only a handful of states are home to these scorpions. Below is a list of US states where these venomous scorpions have been spotted:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

Even if your state is not listed here, make sure to double-check your local scorpion populations to ensure that no new venomous species have been introduced to the area.

female Arizona bark scorpion
Image Credit: Ernie Cooper, Shutterstock

Are Non-Venomous Scorpions Dangerous To Chickens?

Technically, all scorpions are dangerous to chickens because of their pinchers – even non-venomous types. Although non-venomous scorpions will not kill your chickens, they can pinch your chicken and leave a minor wound on the chicken’s skin.

Most of the time, scorpions can’t penetrate chickens’ feathers. Instead, the scorpion goes after the chicken and only gets the feathers, resulting in a relatively pain-free attack for the chicken. When this happens, the chicken is most likely to get a tasty snack out of the scorpion.

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Do Chickens Make Good Pest Control Alternatives?

If you have scorpions on your property, chickens do not make good pest control options. Instead, you should hire a professional to handle the scorpions.

For starters, it’s unethical to expect chickens (or cats) to be the answer to your pest control problems. Since scorpions can injure and severely harm chickens, you shouldn’t put them in harm’s way, especially if there are venomous scorpions in your area.

Secondly, chickens will not be an effective choice for pest control. Since chickens and scorpions are on opposite routines, they are unlikely to cross paths, making it highly unlikely for chickens to eradicate the scorpions on your property.

In a best-case scenario, the chickens may eat the scorpions’ food sources, like crickets and roaches, but even the scorpion’s food sources are nocturnal, further making it difficult for chickens to be a viable pest control option for scorpions.

cinnamon queen chicken
Image Credit: Kathy D. Reasor, Shutterstock

What To Do If Your Chickens Have Been Stung By A Scorpion

If one of your chickens has been stung by a scorpion, promptly separate the individual from the rest of the flock. Most likely, your chicken has not been stung by a venomous scorpion. Simply use over-the-counter medication to clean and treat the areas. Benadryl is a great option.

Of course, there is a possibility that the scorpion was a venomous one. If you live in an area with venomous scorpions and your chicken is showing signs of toxicity, take the chicken to your exotic vet right away. Some signs of toxicity include weakness, refusal to eat or drink, and excessive laying down.

Even if you cannot find a sting mark but your chicken is showing signs of toxicity, still take it to see a vet. This is especially important if you know you live in an area with venomous and poisonous creatures, like scorpions or insects.

What To Do If You Have a Scorpion Problem

If you have a scorpion problem on your hand, do not expect your chickens to take care of the issue. Instead, try to keep the chickens in an area away from the scorpions to prevent any poisonings and excessive pinching.

Then, contact a pest control specialist in your area. A pest control specialist may cost more than your chickens, but they will be more effective and less likely to get injured in the process.

two pest control professionals smiling
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

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Chickens sometimes can and will eat scorpions, but scorpions aren’t exactly the safest treats for your flock. On top of some scorpions being venomous, all scorpions can pinch and hurt your chickens, at least temporarily.

If you know that the scorpions in your area are non-venomous, you don’t have much to worry about regarding your chicken eating scorpions. Although all scorpions can technically harm chickens, it’s only the venomous scorpions you need to look out for. Non-venomous scorpions can be a delicious treat for your chicken… if they happen to cross paths.

If your chicken gets ahold of a scorpion, only panic if you live in an area with venomous scorpions AND your chicken is showing signs of toxicity. Other than that, your chicken is likely just enjoying a snack, though it might experience a small battle wound in the process.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay