Do any of you raise insects for your birdies?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by organicfoltzfamilyfarm, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. organicfoltzfamilyfarm

    organicfoltzfamilyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2009
    Trafalgar, IN
    Hi! I'm new to the forum. BTW the name is Megan [​IMG]

    I was wanting to know if any of you raise bugs for your chickens? I went back into the archives and found one thread which was helpful, but I would like to know if anyone else raises insects.

    My husband is all about doing new things. We're worried that our little wimmins (and a man [​IMG]) won't have enough protein in their diets since they cannot free range at this time (we just bought them almost a week ago and they don't know where home is). He decided that he was going to raise Wax Worms. They are VERY expensive and I don't think I want to go out and buy them all the time so I'll let him do that. He's a boy and boys like to do those sorts of things.

    Just want to know what everyone is doing for added protein!

    Thanks and I enjoy it here so much!
     
  2. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Virginia
    I tried to once, but the insects I ordered (crickets and meal worms) arrived happy, healthy and with tons of tiny, tiny new born cockroaches in the boxes/beddings. I almost freaked out. Fortunately, I had opened everything out on the driveway just in case some of the critters got loose while I was transferring them to the aquarium and "sweater box" (mealworms). I had planned on keeping things in the garage, but the baby cockroaches made me rethink that idea. I ended up trying things in the chicken coop but quickly got frustrated/disgusted etc... THAT endeavor did not last long!

    When in the garden and I find insects, I take them to the chickens. They DO love them! I also give them hard boiled eggs occassionally, let them pick clean the turkey carcass at Thanksgiving, give them excess food from our kitchen, etc... They end up with lots of extra protein!
     
  3. organicfoltzfamilyfarm

    organicfoltzfamilyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2009
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    Ew that's gross! I just bought some from Petco. 500 meal worms for $7. They are all pretty much feisty since being taken out of that fridge! Eating like mad. The chickens LOVED them. I can't wait for them to free range. Especially since it's almost spring and the can get all of the buggies that I don't want in the garden out!
     
  4. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    I kept noticing these non-biting fly type things around my house and finally found out that they were Black Soldier flies...chickens LOVE the worms. Discovered they had set up home in a bag of dried molasses I had outside too long, so I made a box w/o top or bottom and placed bag in the "box". Kept the sack over the contents (flies lay eggs in cardboard) and they multiplied like crazy! Throughout the summer I just added kitchen scraps (no fat or meat). I'm hoping they'll return next year!
     
  5. MelissaR

    MelissaR Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2009
    Minneapolis, MN
    I can only talk about this on BYC - my friends think I'm kinda crazy *just* for having chickens but...

    I have a mealworm farm for my chickens. [​IMG] I used to buy them from the petstore but it go too expensive. One of the members on the forum, Sillybirds, was selling them in bulk this summer so I bought a bunch. I stored them in a rubbermaid container with wheat bran and a carrot. Every couple of days, I would pull a couple hundred or so out and treat the girls. It was so easy to keep them that I ordered one of Sillybirds' mealworm farm kits. After the initial investment, I have a steady supply of mealies for the cost of the wheat bran and carrots.

    I think Sillybirds is still selling the kits as well as bulk mealworms. He's a great source - very honest and easy to work with.

    Let me know if you have any questions about it. I'm happy to share what I know.

    ETA:

    This is the link to one of Sillybirds' mealworm listings... https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=268148
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  6. organicfoltzfamilyfarm

    organicfoltzfamilyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2009
    Trafalgar, IN
    Thanks so much for the responses!

    Matthewschickens- I loved the link and it will be a good read! This is exactly what we plan on doing. We're going to have A HUGE garden this year since we moved into this small town. We have one the the biggest yard in the town, almost 2 acres. The girls are going to have a good time out there in the garden. We also plan on plating a lot of wild flowers for them to hide in and find goodies.

    MelissaR- You're thinking ahead! My husband already has started his farm and it only cost us about $18 all together. We found containers for a $1 a piece at the Dollar Tree along with oats. We already had carrots in the fridge that a neighbor gave us so that was free. We only invested about $14 into the mealworms. He plans on selling them also so if anyone is interested in about 2 months let me know! I will be updating my page as soon as I get another digital camera (which I'm hoping will be a gift this year [​IMG] ).

    Megan
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009

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