Bug farm for winter feeding

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by canadianhenny, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. canadianhenny

    canadianhenny Hatching

    Oct 18, 2008
    Delburne Alberta
    Does anyone raise any insects for winter feeding? I only have 20 birds would like to have bug treats available all winter . What is involved in set up and maintenance? What are the best bugs? I hope that's enough questions! lol
  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Try MissPrissy! I know she's been raising some. [​IMG]
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I do some mealworms.

    Wheat bran, potato halves and a cup of small mealworms. You'll let them become beatles then you will get worms.

    Almost no work at all over time. Just check to make sure they have a potato and a fruit half. It is how they get all their moisture for drinking.
  4. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    We don't have a "bug farm" but my son bought meal worms for his lizard. The meal worms turn into beetles and they lay eggs-my chickens won't eat the beetles but they love the meal worms! You buy a little tub for about $4 at pet stores and if you don't refrigerate than they breed. Found that out by accident! Every now and then we are able to give some to a few lucky chickens. I'm sure with the right conditions and supplies you could breed handfuls at a time.
  5. country lady

    country lady Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    NW Tennessee
    I know you prefer bugs for your chickens in the winter, but have you tried vermiculture? I personally have a hard time feeding earthworms to my hens, only the ones I kill with my spade.

    Harvey Ussery, www.themodernhomestead.us, has a neat set-up. He grows worms in his greenhouse under the aisle wood floor. It's been a while since I logged on to his website, but he sounds very innovative.

    I fed a few mung bean sprouts to my hens last winter and they really liked them. I now have alfalfa seeds soaking but I'm not keen on them. I just use a fruit jar after the initial soaking. I try to add some natural greens and protein in the winter.

    Just a thought.
  6. canadianhenny

    canadianhenny Hatching

    Oct 18, 2008
    Delburne Alberta
    my birds thank you!
  7. mikeksfarmer

    mikeksfarmer Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
    Bonner springs KS
    Consider ordering bulk. Fluker Farms is one company there are many more for pet reptiles. Crickets , meal works (two types) and so much more. They even sell houseing and other supplies to keep your insects alive while your feeding them off.

    For the summer here is another idea to capitalze on insect protien. Take a shallow pan of water add one or two drops of organic liquid soap and hang a good light bulb above it. Any bugs attracted to the light fall in. The organic soap changes the surface tention of the water bugs drown. Every day the birds get a great meal of presoaked bugs for almost free.
  8. k0xxx

    k0xxx Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    North Central Arkansas
    I know someone that raises crickets for fishing, and has started raising extras for his hens. He says that they LOVE them.
  9. Andora

    Andora Songster

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I used to feed meal worms to my lizard. All I did was dump a few cups of meal worms into his tank, and leave them alone. The meal worms ate his poop, turned into beetles, laid eggs, turned into worms, who ate his poop...the lizard cage was self cleaning and my lizard got really fat. [​IMG]

    It didn't occur to me to raise meal worms for chickens, I should get a big tank started and also use those to supplement my bearded dragon's cricket diet. Store bought crickets get expensive!

    Do you think they would breed ok outside in the unheated garage? I guess they'd slow way down in the winter when it freezes, wouldn't they? My DH is not bug friendly, he would die if he found me breeding worms in our house. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  10. rubyv67

    rubyv67 Songster

    Oct 17, 2008
    Do bobwhites eat insects? And if so what kind? I took the plunge and ordered the little chick-bator w/ quail eggs.I homeschool and I haven't been able to do chickens yet. I've raised parakeets and cockateils, but I let them raise their babies. Thank you. [​IMG]

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