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Maggot Feeding Station for Poultry

jacque greenleaf
volunteer

Joined: Jan 21, 2009
Posts: 464
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
Thanks Kathleen, those all sound doable. What about greens? Is there a particular age at which those should be introduced?
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
I think greens, chopped small, could be introduced almost at day one.  New chicks with their mothers would be out foraging as soon as they come out of the nest.  I doubt that they are eating a whole lot of green stuff at first, but give them a tiny amount to begin with and slowly increase it.  Just make sure they are getting sufficient protein.  I've been reading quite a bit about raising heritage breeds of poultry, and the consensus seems to be that they need more protein than most chick starter feeds supply, even up to 30% (and not from soy, either!  It should be animal protein).  Several people said that they had tried using regular chick starter with a batch of chicks as controls while they fed more protein to a second group, and the difference in the chicks was very noticeable after a while.  They were wondering if low protein levels might be part of the reason why so many of the heritage breeds seem to usually be undersized nowadays -- it can be hard to find stock that meets the original breed description for weight.

Kathleen
Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
    
  11
here is the link for you all. enjoy.

http://www.esrla.com/brazil/frame.htm


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
Ivan Weiss


Joined: Dec 19, 2009
Posts: 157
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
A couple months ago, I hung a roadkill raccoon in a bucket with holes in the bottom of it in my chicken tractor, but the carcass hasn't begun to stink yet, and I haven't seen any maggots. I'll report when I do.

I have never seen a chicken that wouldn't eat ants. Maybe others have had different experiences. My hens gobble ants like popcorn.


Pastured poultry, pork, and beef on Vashon Island, WA.
Heidi Bohan
Author


Joined: Feb 14, 2008
Posts: 20
Location: Snoqualmie Valley, Western Washington
    
    5
Just came on this thread... A few years ago I figured out that feeding my ducks worms from my outdoor worm bins was the perfect exchange of protein for protein. My ducks lay eggs right through the winter, but the bugs are pretty absent. This year I really beefed up my worm bins for this purpose and each morning I let my ducks out for forage and give them a couple of spade fulls of worms. They are very happy about that. I wonder about maggots for winter feeding, seems like flies are pretty absent, and this is when poultry need bugs the most. The maggot idea makes feeding worms seem pretty tame… I don’t have chickens right now, or I would check out the worms on them.



[Thumbnail for Ducks and worms.jpg]

[Thumbnail for Duck worm bin.jpg]


Heidi Bohan, Ethnobotanist, educator, author- People of Cascadia, Starflower Native Plant ID Cards; Skills based mentorship programs
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Susan Monroe wrote:
Food certainly doesn't need to stink to attract flies --- having a BBQ is proof of that!  I think they're just always looking for a site to lay eggs.
True. Just cook up some lamb... is amazing how they zero in! Maybe shove some cooked lamb in the bucket? Or lamb scraps in the kitchen peelings mix.... too expensive and yummy for the flies.

Chelle
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Leah Sattler wrote:
forest gardener - I found this site with lots of chicken forage ideas http://www.greenharvest.com.au/seeds/info_sheet/poultry_forage.html

Link gone dead but found it here

Great article. Thanks.

Chelle
                


Joined: Apr 13, 2010
Posts: 18
Location: Texas
I raised soldier flies last year.  They are a wonderful source of protein and calcium for fish and birds.  They are clean and self harvest.  The only draw back is that chickens get lazy and just stand at the feeder waiting for the next bite; and I don't like bare spots on the ground.  So, I started catching the worms in a can and each day I had half to one gallon of worms to throw out to the chickens!

The soldier flies eat most anything.  Kitchen scraps, leaves, meat, egg shells, and poop.  Yea, poop.. I have a cow and chickens together for sanitation purposes like poly face.  So with an excess amount of feed stock laying around I could not help but feed it to the works to make free chicken food.  The soldier flies did not stink except at the end when I fed to much poop.  I dumped out my little 2 foot by 2 foot worm bin because of the smell and was surprised to find about 40 pounds of worms in it!  Those poor chickens ate 'till they could barely stand up, lol..

So anyway, I would highly recommend black soldier flies!  I have never seen them any where but at the bin. They are great for chickens and a great way to recycle calcium back to the chickens.  They also make great fish food (I raise aquaponic garden/fish..  Infact, I can throw cleaned fish into the bin and within a day or two the fish, bones and all, are gone!  So its a great way to feed fish guts to chickens.


[right][img width=85 height=120]http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/download/file.php?avatar=1334_1214923041.jpg[/img][/right]
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Hey Dan! You found it by yourself...  Welcome!!

I think BSF is the best too.... no disease carrying. Not easy to get here for us unfortunately.

Chelle
                


Joined: Apr 13, 2010
Posts: 18
Location: Texas
I got my start from TCLinx.  Might be able to ship some to you IF you can get 3 day shipping.. The biggest problem is the worms get out of the box, even with tape.  The post office does not like that to much
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
LOL... I can imagine. Doubt it would do it in 3 days to here.... but thanks. 

Chelle
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
do you have pics of your soldier fly larvae at work?


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R MacMillan


Joined: Mar 15, 2010
Posts: 1
Couldn't find organic chick starter in our area.  So, we put organic chicken crumble (16% protein) into our grain grinder to get the right texture.  We give them two (these days more like three or four) crumbled boiled eggs a day, plus grasshoppers that we find in water barrels. 

I've been sieving sharp sand and sprinkling the fines from that around their cardboard box home.  They're 16 days old right now.  We hope to move them to their chicken coop next week and start putting them in pasture cages during the day...we'll see how warm the weather gets. 

If we find a fresh mouse/mole kill courtesy of our cats (and most mornings we do), we cleaver it into two or three pieces and toss that into their box.  They pick the soft parts out. 

I tried giving them some saurkraut today.  It was in the kitchen sink strainer and had been kind of rinsed, thought I'd see if they eat it, chopped a bit with their greens.  Seems to be a hit!

We used to feed the chickens whey when I stayed at a place with goats and ongoing cheese making. 
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Welcome RM! 

Seems like they are off to a good start. Do you have any pics of the coop and pasture cages?

Really interesting about the sauerkraut!!!

Chelle
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
hot off the press!



Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
    
  11
nice video paul. every winter my chickens are sad because the black soldier flies are dormant. we have fed a few dead critters to the BSF and they are gone FAST. threw a dead bird(it was a titmouse) in there, the next morning it was just bones. and a pile of BSF.
                          


Joined: Nov 20, 2010
Posts: 140
A fresh hog skin works too.  Lay it out on the ground, flesh side down during warm weather.  Every day turn the hide over.  It will be covered with maggots.  After the chickens clean it up  (about 10 seconds!), flop it back over.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Some notes I have picked up:

1)  make sure the bucket is low to the ground.  Otherwise the chickens will hang out under the bucket waiting for the next maggot to drop - and sometimes yucky stuff dribbles out onto the chickens.  Then your chickens smell yucky and that cannot be good.

2)  place a dish under the bucket so the larva don't get into the ground and do the next stage of pupation/whatever.  And then the chickens can have lots of morning snacks.

3)  I have read reports that black soldier fly larva might be a better idea - less chance of yucky stuff getting to chickens or people.  Flies tend to carry yucky stuff to lots of places



paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I went and put this up in a lot of places all over the internet.  And there has been some interesting feedback.  I'm still trying to sort out which is just general fear of ickiness, and which is valid concern.

This is a fascinating space to consider.  And while I think the BSF route is probably optimal, I do think it would be good to talk about this a bit more to build some better foundations of understanding.

One thing I think is important to discuss is:  if you raise and harvest animals, what do you do with the offal?  What do you do with animals that have died?  What do you do with meats/offal that have gone rancid? 

Salatin composts - but I think that while that is a better path - it still has problems.  And I think the maggot path is better than that, and the BSFL path is better still. 

I think that if the offal is fresh, it should be fed out to an appropriate species.  So chicken offal is fed to pigs and trout, pig offal is fed to chickens and trout, and trout offal is fed to pigs and chickens.

For what remains, I think the maggot/BSFL approach for chickens and trout is superior. 

I still think that the general rule of thumb is "if it stinks, you are doing it wrong" - and I did not smell a thing standing right next to that bucket in the video.

(on a totally different note - if you look at the video, you can see my shadow and see what sort of camera I have:  the kind that is not really for taking videos )


solomon martin


Joined: Jan 17, 2011
Posts: 102
    
    1
This thread has reminded me of my childhood, when I used to get the chickens and ducks to follow me around while I lifted stones out of the dirt, all the birds would come and peck out all the potato bugs and ant larvae they could find underneath, after a few minutes, the bugs would be gone, I would put the stone back and find another to lift up.  It was great entertainment for a kid who didn't have a T.V., but I realize now what a great feeding system it was... a week or so later I could lift up the same stone and a whole new crop of bugs would be there waiting to be chicken food.
Brian Bales


Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Posts: 90
I wanted to second the self harvesting black soldier fly larva as a protein source for poultry. They can very easily be set up in a self harvesting system and produce amazing amounts of feed. They also make amazing food for worms. This combination makes a first rate compost system that gives you large amounts of feed for poultry and gives you high quality compost for your garden. Here is a link to the best blog I have found on BSFL production. http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/bsf-bucket-composter-version-2-1/
Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
What an interesting thread!
For the maggot thing, I think you really must have a cheap source of meat like the pork skin.
Thanks for the soldier fly blog, did anyone try it?
We simply bury a dead animal and plant something on the top of it. And offal we eat ourselves. Tongue in Riesling sauce is quite good, Or barbecued lung. Why should you waste the offal?
                      


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 45
Im not sure if there is a more aropriate thread than this for chicken feeding questions, but, I've been reading Everything I could find here & links that are offered so I'm now at the point of overload & can't remember how to find my way back to some interesting stuff...
Anywho- my question has to do with table vegetable scraps. I've found lots & lots of info on feeding pellets & crumbles but there hasn't been a clear indication of how old my chicks need to be to start eating apple bits or greens or even variouse seeds. I did read an interesting article that said to increase the Omega 3's to mix in fish meal but there was no indication of what age it was OK to start doing so. My hope is to feed my chickens the pulp that comes from my juicer- a person can only eat just so much apple/carrot bread & cake before getting cranky- I don't want all those terrific goodies to go to waist. Thanks so much for sending advice!
Jack Shawburn


Joined: Jan 18, 2011
Posts: 230
Surely Comfrey would be good as an attractant too...
ever make Comfrey tea?...wow !
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6675
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
As far as feeding maggots to chickens go, I would say "In moderation".
There is much evidence that feeding maggots can lead to Limberneck (botulism) in chickens.  Many flocks have been decimated with this practice.
Remember the saying:  "There is no free lunch!"
T. Pierce


Joined: Mar 13, 2011
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
i like this thread.  good info here.  i believe its the eating of rotten mean and not so much the maggots that causes botulism.

my experiences.  i raise meat rabbits.  after killing, skinning, cleaning them. all the hides, heads feet, guts, etc gets thrown into my fire barrel.  where it eventually gets burned up.  in the hot summer time. maggots will appear in a couple  days or so.  and will litterally be covering everything in side the barrel. ive noticed when this happens i will immediately burn the trash and rabbit guts/hides to get rid of the maggots.  when the fire first starts the maggots will climb the  sides and try to abandon ship through the air holes i drilled in barrel.  ive had some of my lil bantams that are able to fly in and out of the lot, come over and grab up these few maggots that escape the heat.  i never thought about intentionally raising maggots before.

i like the idea.  and i have a regular supply of fly bait with the rabbits. 
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
When I butcher rabbits, the offal gets thrown to the chickens, who dispose of the lot pretty quickly, before it can rot.  (I save the hides, usually, for tanning.)  I like the idea of growing maggots to feed the chickens, but that would only work for about half the year here, when it's warm enough for flies to be out and about. 

The danger of botulism poisoning in the chickens (limberneck, as RustysDog put it) is from the rotting meat.  That's why people have been devising 'maggot feeders' to produce maggots but not allow the chickens to get into the rotten stuff.

Kathleen
Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
    
  11
the black soldier fly actually "cleans" itself as it leaves the feeding chamber to find a place to pupate in the ground. they are almost sterile, along with that the gut of the BSF cleanses the "bad bacteria" from the rotten food, meat, scraps, manure.

maggots like those from blow flies are a different story, there covered in filth.
T. Pierce


Joined: Mar 13, 2011
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
When I butcher rabbits, the offal gets thrown to the chickens, who dispose of the lot pretty quickly, before it can rot.  (I save the hides, usually, for tanning.)  I like the idea of growing maggots to feed the chickens, but that would only work for about half the year here, when it's warm enough for flies to be out and about. 

The danger of botulism poisoning in the chickens (limberneck, as RustysDog put it) is from the rotting meat.  That's why people have been devising 'maggot feeders' to produce maggots but not allow the chickens to get into the rotten stuff.

Kathleen


pretty much same here. the chickens get the fat, kidneys, lungs, and any excess meat that gets trimmed off to clean up the carcass some.  the guts, hide, head, feet and such goes into the burn barrrel. 

i tried tanning one time. it didnt turn out to well.  and the hides shed terribly.  more recently i learned the hides of fryer age rabbits will shed.  the hides of older rabbits will retain the hair,,,,as long as its not during one of their molts.  but i do hate to throw all those purty hides away just to be burned up.  what a waste.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
have seen reference for doing this for feeding fish in ponds as well as for chickens..


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
                      


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Posts: 45
@ DanDMan- Why do you clean the fish before giving them to your Soldier Grubs? Won't they eat the guts too?
I'm pretty excited- I've built myself a BSF cannon out of 4in PVC pipe w/ test caps on each end. The lower cap is drilled w/ tiny holes to allow drainage & air circulation. It can be removed to empty the compost into the red worm bin. The top cap is a slotted drain cap that allows grubs to crawl out & Moms to get in & lay eggs. The whole thing sits @ a 30 deg angle for self harvasting. I added a T at the top for an easy & perfect scrap shoot for the angle it sits. Since I got all the pieces at the Habitat for Humanity Store & another recycle builders barn- the whole thing only cost me 6$. I saved enough to be able to order my larve on line & they will be here tomorrow. I'll post my results. Someday when Im not techno stunted I'll get some pics up too. I may not be able to save or change the world but I sure can my own back yard.
Mariah Wallener


Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Posts: 144
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada
MsMinuette, will be eager to read how it all works. And then, of course, you'll be obliged to post photos and diagrams, etc...


Around here any offal or leftover (raw) meat goes to the dog. Her main output is companionship but no reason she shouldn't be part of the permaculture cycle. I'm planning to raise meat birds and will produce extra for her as well to save buying the crap stuff from the grocery store.


Permie Newbie. ruralaspirations.wordpress.com
T. Pierce


Joined: Mar 13, 2011
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
MsMinuette wrote:
@ DanDMan- Why do you clean the fish before giving them to your Soldier Grubs? Won't they eat the guts too?
I'm pretty excited- I've built myself a BSF cannon out of 4in PVC pipe w/ test caps on each end. The lower cap is drilled w/ tiny holes to allow drainage & air circulation. It can be removed to empty the compost into the red worm bin. The top cap is a slotted drain cap that allows grubs to crawl out & Moms to get in & lay eggs. The whole thing sits @ a 30 deg angle for self harvasting. I added a T at the top for an easy & perfect scrap shoot for the angle it sits. Since I got all the pieces at the Habitat for Humanity Store & another recycle builders barn- the whole thing only cost me 6$. I saved enough to be able to order my larve on line & they will be here tomorrow. I'll post my results. Someday when Im not techno stunted I'll get some pics up too. I may not be able to save or change the world but I sure can my own back yard.


yes i too would appreciate hearing the results and some pics of what youve built.  i like the idea of using pvc.  im sure it looks good and is very user friendly.  i believe in building stuff myself.  im in the building trade,,,,and i like things to work well...and look nice at the same time.  a bucket no doubt works but id like to try something a lil more high tech,  and friendlier to the eye.  thats just me.
                          


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Alberta Canada
Dead Rabbit wrote:
yes i too would appreciate hearing the results and some pics of what youve built.  i like the idea of using pvc.  im sure it looks good and is very user friendly.   i believe in building stuff myself.  im in the building trade,,,,and i like things to work well...and look nice at the same time.   a bucket no doubt works but id like to try something a lil more high tech,  and friendlier to the eye.  thats just me.
Here's another blog with some good DYI plans for BSF bins http://raisesoldierflies.com/


BorealWormer
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 462
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
How about an insect collector?  Something like a combined wasp trap with an LED light at the top.  Think of a long cone with a short one inside both with the same diameter base.  The tall cone has blacked out sides and the short one is clear with a small hole to let insects in.  The light is in the top of the tall cone.  once inside the insects are basically trapped and will die.  They can then be fed to the chickens.  Just a thought as lights at night seem to attract a lot of insects.


It can be done!
Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
did anyone raise meal worms?
Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    9
In vol 94, no 3 of Countryside magazine, there is an article, "Working with Recomposers" that is on just this topic. The section on the soldier fly was great, talking about producing "protein from thin air." As for the concern over pathogens, it said the grubs are active enough to keep the feeding medium well aerated, so pathogenic organisms (which are mostly into anaerobic conditions), do not thrive. For this reason, good drainage out of the bedding is important too. The article also advertises the BioPod bin, which is just handy for this specific task.


www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
                                  


Joined: Nov 28, 2009
Posts: 17
mekennedy1313 i have seen in a catalog a thingy that is a lamp and a motorized whipper that attracts bugs with the lamp and stuns them with the spinning arm so they fall in to a fish pond


If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito." -- the Dalai Lama
Max Kennedy


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 462
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
Any idea what catalog?  I've looked in Cabella's, and our local hardware ones without luck.
                    


Joined: Aug 24, 2009
Posts: 106
I am wondering, flies and maggots are a problem with manure.  DH is forever hanging up fluystrips.  Would this bucket method work using manure?  I am going to try it.
 
 
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