SELF-RENEWING ECO SYSTEM/food supply

gsim

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
1,997
41
196
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.
 

chick-a-bone2

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
47
0
35
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.
 

Akane

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
4,654
66
251
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.
 

rainbowgardens

Songster
11 Years
Nov 19, 2008
303
5
131
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.
 

SarasotaClucker

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
38
3
32
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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