Insect or bug trap - catching bugs for your flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Sunsetlake, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Sunsetlake

    Sunsetlake Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone know of an insect trap that works well for catching live bugs so you can feed them to your chickens? I've been searching the web, but haven't been very successful. I found that some people use bug zappers, and I purchased a cheap one of those, but I was hoping to find a trap to buy or build that would catch the insects live - like crickets, grasshoppers, etc. We have a ton of bugs on our property, and I've been trying a use a butterfly type net, and I've caught some. However, it is just not nearly enough and it's not very efficient either. My chickens have about a 1/2 acre of open area to forage, but it's fun to be able to dump a pile of live bugs in front of them and see them go wild! I would give them more room, but they were messing up my flowers and mulch so much I got tired of cleaning up after them. And they starting pooing on my outdoor furniture too!

    I found a DIY trap where you take a 2 liter and cut the top off. You then put some ripe fruit or whatever else in the bottom half, invert the top half into it. You bury it in the ground and then the bugs crawl into the top part and slide down into the bottom part and can't get back out supposedly. I made one today so we will see how it works tomorrow when I check.

    Does anyone else have some ideas? I have no interest in buying insects, it seems like a waste when we have so many on our property.
     
  2. Nupe

    Nupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know about catching them. I would think that farming them would be a more efficient method of getting creepy crawly treats to the flock. There's info out the wazoo here on BYC for worm and cricket farms and it sounds pretty easy. I'm considering doing fodder and maybe meal worms to supplement or eliminate commercial feed.
     
  3. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    I have what I call a "bucket of bugs". It is simply a coffee can without the lid that I leave out under a light that is on all night. Bugs buzz the light, get caught in the can and each a.m. there are 20-30 assorted bugs that get tossed to the birds. That and free ranging during the day fills them up and cuts down considerably on my bugs here.
     
  4. Sunsetlake

    Sunsetlake Out Of The Brooder

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    That sounds interesting! So basically a type of bug zapper? Sounds like something else I can try too! I would still like to find a way to catch live ones, but the chickens like dead ones too! Thanks!
     
  5. evemfoster

    evemfoster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The bucket of bugs is basicly how they catch moths when they want to do a bug count for census. They put out a light over a boxful of loosely stacked egg crates. The bugs end up hiding between the egg crates and don't fly off right away when the crates are pulled out to check them.

    Growing mealworms is also a easy option.
     
  6. dalovesroosters

    dalovesroosters Out Of The Brooder

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    we discovered last summer how many crickets would get under some damp cardboard and newspaper,( the newspaper was at the bottom of chicken cage for the babies and when I was cleaning it out, i did so outside and right where I put the paper, the next morning we were stunned at the amount of crickets under it[​IMG]), so now we have selected spots around the yard, put down cardboard and paper, dampen them and even placed a few pieces of potatoes under there, and wow, at the food for the chickens. whichever chickens are out at the time, will go insane[​IMG] when we lift up these things. I bought a cricket holder and when there are no chickens out, i will take my time and slowly gather crickets for those caged up. We also discovered grubs love living under old fed left on ground from where we had the moving pens husband made me. I swear by this, last fall, one cool morning, i noticed a few holes behind one of these pens and it took me a second to finally really see what I was looking at, i counted 123 grubs on ground and some in holes, and I still can not imagine why and how that happen, but my babies just loved me for days once they discovered the grubs. I have compost spots and I found baby grubs in one compost pile, a lot of baby grubs, i wonder if this is ok for them to be in my compost bed? I hope this helps some, this is just something we learned and I have been wanting to share this info. Have a Blessed Day everyone, and tell those chickens I said hi...[​IMG]
     
  7. evemfoster

    evemfoster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your grubs may be Black Soldier Fly larva. They are grown for super fast composting and feeding the grubs to chickens. If you are lucky enough to live in a climate that supports them take advantage. A good colony of BSF can supply a lot (cups) of grubs every day. If you Google them you will find all kinds of info on how to setup composers with self harvesting grub ramps.
     
  8. Sunsetlake

    Sunsetlake Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome, I will have to try the newspaper thing! Thanks so much!!!
     
  9. dalovesroosters

    dalovesroosters Out Of The Brooder

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    oh thank you for the info on the grubs, I had wondered what they would turn into. I know my babies just go crazy over a big, fat grub, in fact, my baby** buffy,** she grabbed one that had to be bigger than her head, and that girl swallowed it down, i was surprised she didn't get choked, and more surprised she was able to keep it from her brother lol lol. I had never thought of using grubs in my compost piles, i have been composting over 10 years maybe and never noticed grubs until last summer. I am wanting to raise grubs, so i will start researching. Anything I can give my babies since I can no longer let them run free, ( neighbors cats and dogs, and 3 hawks). Also I hope the newspaper thing will work for you, let me know ok?
     
  10. InsectivoreCo

    InsectivoreCo Out Of The Brooder

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    It's a great move to start collecting insects! Deciding to do that saved myself from a lot of heartache and frustration. I noticed the comment by evemfoster on black soldier flies and wanted to give kudos there and elaborate. With the climate in Indiana (which i am not familiar with) you will probably have to wait until april to start collecting these.

    Collecting Black Soldier Fly Larvae - the Insect that harvests itself!!!!


    The Black Soldier Fly is a frequent visitor to compost heaps. Adult flies lack mouthparts, so don't worry about these guys biting. All they can do is fly and mate!
    They are also NOT known to carry or transmit any diseases.

    The female black soldier fly will lay 500 EGGS at a time! in 3 days to 3 weeks, you will start seeing larvae. They are about 1.8 mm long when newly hatched. "The mature larva is about 18 mm long and 6 mm wide, although some individuals may be as long as 27 mm!"

    So you have a good compost heap and you notice lots of soldier flies - what now?

    When you have those initial small larvae, take them with their compost and dump into a rubbermaid or home-made tub of a similar size. (There are many youtube videos of how to make these.)

    When the mature larvae are ready to become flies, they naturally want to go up and out of their compost and into somewhere less damp. By placing ramps on the ends of your tub, the larvae will actually self-harvest - crawl right up those ramps and fall into a bucket. It's quite amazing, actually.

    BSF larvae are sold widely in the reptile industry as "repti-worms". They are super-high in nutrients, and are super-prolific. Animals just love them. Because breeding them in captivity is difficult and requires a solid set-up, most farmers who use this technique only collect wild larvae and rely on another source during the fall and winter months.

    I hope this information was useful!
     

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