Free High Protein Snacks - 24/7

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JanetinTenn, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. JanetinTenn

    JanetinTenn In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2008
    Nashville Tennessee USA
    Chickens are very fond of worms and bugs of almost any kind. They love to catch and eat any kind of flys or fly eggs or larva.
    Besides their regular food, I provide my chickens with flys and maggots 24 hours a day.

    I live in the country and have to haul my garbage to the dump. There are always fly larva in the garbage cans, and after I take the bags out, I shake out the maggots on the ground and all my turkeys and chickens just gobble em up like candy.

    Since they like em so much and they are a good source of fresh, living protein, I started breeding flys and maggots for them. I put any kind of old food, anything small that dies, anything that flys like to lay eggs on, into a container. You can use a garbage can, an old pot with a lid, a 5 gallon bucket w/lid, any kind of container. I put holes in the lid for the flys to go in and holes in the top of the sides for the larva to crawl out of. If you put in fruit peelings or old fruit, you also get hordes of fruit flys. They are tiny, but evidently tasty!

    What works best for me is to hang the container on a rope from a tree limb just above the ground, or if its on the ground put a rock on top to keep it from being knocked over.

    Its amusing to watch them snatch up a fresh maggot that has just emerged from the maggot incubator, and its free food! They also get all the cabbage worms and tomato horn worms that I pick off in my garden.

    I also feed all my birds eggshells. My five big dogs get several eggs each most days and I save the shells, and toss them out on the ground for my birds. They eat them up like crazy, so I know they need those minerals.

    Yall keep those chicken adventures coming ... Janet in the Great State of Tennessee
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I saw an article about doing this in some poultry magazine. He collected roadkill and put it in the buckets adn then the maggots just "fell from the sky" for the chickens to eat.

    I don't think I'm ready to try this myself, though. [​IMG]

    I have guests and customers come visit the farm. I don't think they would be impressed with the notion of feeding my hens maggots.
  3. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    I have guests and customers come visit the farm. I don't think they would be impressed with the notion of feeding my hens maggots.

    um, yeah, I'll use that excuse LOL

    There are very few things in life that I couldn't handle, and maggots are one of them!! (roaches would be the other:lol:) I'm sure my birdies would love them-- but I just can't handle it.

    THE biggest disagreement that dh and I have in our marriage, is that I can't get him to take the garbage to the dump 3-4 x a week in the summer:mad: I just REALLY can't handle the maggots​
  4. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I'm not there yet.
  5. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    when you open the lid, don't the flies come flying out like bats? i think that's the part that i couldn't take. but with our texas heat, things get pretty ripe fast and when i move my garbage out for pick up, there'll be maggots and the chickens go nuts trying to eat them all. they seem to know when garbage day is.
  6. asher

    asher Chicken Enabler Extraordinaire

    Jan 26, 2007
    Mountains of NC
    Quote:Ummm...yeah...I like my chickens...but I don't think I like them enough to do that! [​IMG]
  7. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    We do this. We dump all of our old food and anything that dies into a bucket and hang it on a fence. Our muscovies happily devour any flies that get close and after a few days we're able to dump the bucket in the compost heap. At that point everything inside should be mostly dry. The chickens go nuts over them. As long as you keep the bucket away from the house it's fine. You don't have to smell or touch anything that way.
  8. chickens4jojo

    chickens4jojo Songster

    May 26, 2008
    Upstate South Carolina
    Whoa~I never would have though to do something like that. My feed bill is getting a lot higher lately, but I just don't know if people would still eat my eggs if they knew about my chickens' "maggot-feast!!" Ha!! Its a thought though and it could be considered "organic?!" [​IMG]

    Very interesting.........
  9. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Well, I don't exactly -tell- people what's inside the buckets out in the distance [​IMG]. People used to flip out when they found out rabbits digested their food a second time around. I can't imagine what they'd think about sweet, loving chickens eating icky bugs.

    I've been looking online and found some really reasonable prices for red worms. I plan on setting up a bed for the worms and seeing how much work it is to use them as supplemental feed. We could use more worms around here for the gardens (we live in mole paradise and nothing gets rid of the devils...) and not paying $3 for a few dozen sickly worms to fish with would be nice. Especially since 1,000 worms can be bought for $20ish or so.

    Anything to stretch a dollar these days. Plus raising worms sounds like a fun thing to do on the side [​IMG]
  10. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    Quote:do you have pictures? i know this sounds weird, but i just can't picture hanging a bucket. is it just a plastic bucket and you hang it on the fence? how big is your bucket? does it have holes on the bottom to let the maggots fall out? how high do you hang the buckets (since i have dogs and some my chickens are very good flyers [​IMG] ) is the compost heap enclosed or an open area (since you say you put in there anything dead, just wondering) is everything in there mostly dead because you have the bucket where it gets hit by the sun or is it in the shady area?

    sorry for all the questions, but i like this idea. i have a compost area but nothing can really get composted cuz the chickens end up eating it before it can become compost, so i usually end up burning it and putting the ashes in the dust boxes.

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