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Grow all sorts of grubs and insects for fowl?

 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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So I am looking into BSF. Are there any other insects grubs to raise to feed chicken and ducks? Anything which is worthwhile and doesn't have to be done indoors (we don't own a mansion).
 
steward
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One way a nearby homesteader does it is to hang a bucket with some holes drilled in it near the chickens.  He puts roadkill in the buckets and covers it with straw.  The native flies lay their eggs and shortly after a bunch of maggots fall out of the holes for the chickens to eat.  So if you have a source of road kill or waste meat, that could be a way to get maggots in the summer.
 
gardener
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I have a refrigerator turned into a sub irrigated  worm bin.
So far,  it's had BSF colonize it, but they died out.
This is fine by me, my experience with BSF  in previous compost has been negative.
Despite other reports,  they always seem to come with the worst smell imaginable, worse than sewage, dead things  or even a grease trap.

The worms are there but there's not an explosion of them,then again I started with only a few bait shop containers.
I think they might not be getting enough oxygen?
The water in the reservoir doesn't smell at all, and hasn't frozen either, two good signs.
I might add a  bubbler to the reservoir,  see what happens
I'm adding bunny bedding today,  maybe they just need more time and good food.

If I can get the worm bin going,  I might start another bin for dubia roaches.
Of the insects usually farmed, they seem like they would be the least troublesome, less picky than mealworms,  not stinky like crickets.

If I didn't have an irrational loathing of them,  aquatic snails would be on my list to grow for chicken feed.
A small pond with snails, algae and koi could be self sustaining.

IMG_20201114_123456.jpg
 Sub irrigated worm bin
Sub irrigated worm bin
 
pollinator
Posts: 198
Location: Central Virginia, Zone 7.
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I recommend mealworms.  I think that's the most common bug grown for chickens.  

Swiped from Wiki:

As feed and pet food:  Mealworms are typically used as a pet food for captive reptiles, fish, and birds. They are also provided to wild birds in bird feeders, particularly during the nesting season. Mealworms are useful for their high protein content. They are also used as fishing bait.

They are commercially available in bulk and are typically available in containers with bran or oatmeal for food. Commercial growers incorporate a juvenile hormone into the feeding process to keep the mealworm in the larval stage and achieve an abnormal length of 2 cm or greater.

(end swipe)

I bought a bag of rice bran from a health food store, and got my mealworm supply from Amazon.  Search this phrase on Amazon: >>   1000ct Live Mealworms, Reptile, Birds, Chickens, Fish Food (Large)  << .        A minimum of care (they are REAL easy to keep up), and you'll never have to buy more mealworms.  Life cycle is about 6 months, so every six months you'll have *thousands* of mealworms.  Just keep feeding them rice bran, and slice up an apple or potato once a week for their water supply.

However!  You said:

>> Anything which is worthwhile and doesn't have to be done indoors.

Hmmm, I think they're definitely worthwhile ... but they don't survive winters.  And they need to be kept dry.   They'll survive refrigerator temperarture for a week or so, that's as cold as they can go.   Do you have a garage?   Mine are in my basement, rarely gets colder than 60 degrees down there.



 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Thanks, it took me a while to get back. (I need to get once again used to old fashioned forums - they are much better!!). I like the idea with the road kill. Maybe butchers have rotten meat too? Meal worms I don't know, I don't know whether they would also fly in the house and eat my flour. Aquatic snails are certainly and option but I have to figure out how to breed them without being overharvested.
 
gardener
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I haven't tried this myself, but have been watching this fellow use this system for years and plan to do something similar when we get chickens in the spring. He has tons more videos about it. Seems like a super easy, low maintenance system that both feeds chickens well for cheap and yields tons of great compost.

 
Good night. Drive safely. Here's a tiny ad for the road:
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