The Disadvantage of letting chickens Eat Maggots

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Glenda L Heywood, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    The problem comes into play when the maggots are feeding off an animal that was carrying botulism. If there's no botulism to start with in the decaying animal then it's not an issue...
  2. Serina81

    Serina81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Lucerne Valley, CA
    So how often does a carcass have botulism on it?
  3. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    Deleted... duplicate post
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  4. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    also in the thread that the maggot harvesting was talked about, it was mentioned that chickens are more likely to get botulism from maggots that have been feeding on feed that had gotten wet and then squirming with the maggots. thus the feed was rotting and then bacteria grew and went to the chickens.

    the was it is described in that thread, seems quite controlled in a mannor of speaking. like i saw in someones post the other day, when dealing with nature you have to roll with the punches..

    who know's if the animals carry the bacteria or not....chickens would eat maggots in the "wild" wouldn't they? and they have survived this long...I'm sure it would be okay as long as you know where the squirmers are feeding from.

    here is the thread if anyone wants to read about it
  5. loverOFchickens

    loverOFchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    My chickens have eaten maggots for two years and I have never had a problem. And yes they do eat it off dead stuff.

    Do you think if they have built up thier system it does not effect them? They are free range I can't stop them. It really keeps down the flies.
  6. Fuzzbuttfarm

    Fuzzbuttfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2009
    I read something which states the maggots have something in their gut which kills most bacteria, but darned if I can find it! Here's an article on maggot composting I found when I followed a link from a site talking about feeding maggots to chickens, last week. Black soldier flies, particularly:

    Not disputing botulism, mind you. Maybe it depends on the species of fly maggot?
  7. theburtschickens

    theburtschickens Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2009
    Hey all, I'm a newbie here and have a question regarding feeding these delicious larvae to my chickens.

    We've got a compost bin that we made out of tires, so it's not possible to turn the compost as it's breaking down. Consequently, we developed what looked like a maggot problem...until we got chickens. I grew up on a farm, so I'm used to gross things. And since I love my girls, I figured I'd see if these maggots (actually they're soldier fly larvae I guess) were delicacies in the chicken world. They DEVOURED them. Not having raised my chickens from babies, they're not completely friendly at this point, but by the end of the first feeding of a cup of these larvae the chickens were sitting on my feet and walking across my knees. [​IMG]

    There's an inexhaustible supply, so I've been feeding them about a cup to a cup and a half a day (seven chickens, all of them at least 4 months old). They seem to be doing well, but I'm wondering if I'm letting them eat these too much. Apart from the problems of them being toxic and stuff mentioned above, should it be more of an occasional thing, like a treat for a kid's good behavior? I love feeding them, and I figured it's good protein...but I don't want to harm them by feeding too much.

    The only other thing I've noticed is that at least one of the chickens has a lighter brown, softer poop than what I'm used to chicken poop looking like. Could this be related?


    Lovin' my larvae,
    Daniel [​IMG]
  8. MelissaR

    MelissaR Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2009
    Minneapolis, MN
  9. jrabbit

    jrabbit Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2009
    Well, I'm a city girl and not an expert by any means, BUT there is a big difference between maggots and grubs. What most composters are feeding are probably grubs of some sort - not actual "maggots".

    My granny used to raise grubs ... they don't gross me out. But maggots - that's a different story. If you've ever seen a pet with fly-strike, you might also cringe at the sight of maggots.

    I know a wee bit about botulism as a parent. A bacteria actually causes botulism - and it's often found in in dirt and dust, which can contaminate honey. Honey can cause botulism in a baby because their immature digestive system can not process the spores that cause it. (By one year old, it's generally safe.) If the bacteria hangs around in the body too long, it germinates, multiplies and produces a toxin, which causes the illness.

    I bet the chickens that are "immune" to botulism have better digestive systems.

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  10. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Quote:It's very very dangerous. It's one of the sources of wild duck botulism which IS prevalent enough to warrant many articles about it.

    Just because he wrote an article doesn't mean it's ok, unfortunately. I'd forego his advice. If he had seen botulism in person, he certainly wouldn't do it. It's heartbreaking and disgusting.

    Furthermore doing so attracts all sorts of flies, including screw worm flies which don't wait for dead meat - they attack live animals. It's just not worth it.

    Buy mealyworms - raise them. They're cleaner, and the birds are nuts about them.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009

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