SELF-RENEWING ECO SYSTEM/food supply

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gsim, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Am wanting to raise night-crawlers and crickets within my chicken pen. Escapees would become food for girls, fresh protein. Figured to put compost pile in pen, and "seed" it with nightcrawlers and crickets. Would have chicken wire over it to keep birds from ripping it up and plundering the colony in one day.

    Anyone out there ever done that or heard of it? Should be a great way to reduce feed bill while providing renewable and superior food supply, it seems to me.
     
  2. chick-a-bone2

    chick-a-bone2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2009
    I'd be careful about the crickets. They're usually hosts to parasitic worms. Unless your chickens are actively foraging at night (mine usually sleep) they problably will never see the worms, as this is the only time they'd come out. And yes, you would need to cover the compost to keep them from tearing it up.
     
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    You might want to look into the maggot feeding containers. You hang a container with something to attract flies, poke holes near the bottom, and let the maggots grow. They fall out of the container and the chickens eat them. Actually cuts down on fly population because the larvae are being eaten instead of managing to grow up somewhere.
     
  4. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    Warning about the maggot buckets.
    Harvey ussery, who originally wrote about them in Backyard Poultry magazine has just written in this month's issue that he was having problems with them.
    Seem his chickens were dying from botulism toxin. He is now looking into raising black soldier fly larve.
     
  5. SarasotaClucker

    SarasotaClucker Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Rainbowgardens is right. There is a cautionary followup about maggots in the October/November 2009 issue of Backyard Poultry.

    But, from your perspective, the good news might be on page 50 where author Harvey Ussery describes the potential for a system that utilizes BOTH Black Soldierfly grubs AND redworms. Check it out.
     

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