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Why breed maggots on food scraps instead of feeding them to the chicken directly?

 
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Is it more profitable to breed maggots in food scraps instead of feeding them directly to chicken?
Or is it done because the chicken need the protein?
I'm seeing it being done with meat and carcasses more that plant based scraps.

What's the secret?
 
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I am reading a lot about black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens) and found some significant advantages.
They eat literally everything from wet fruits to fish/meat offal with a few exemptions like pineapple peels and hard stuff which can be composted.

The major one of them is that the grubs have some properties that eliminates any virus and disease and making these grubs even suitable for human consumption.

The other would be that you have a good control about how much goodies like protein your chicken get, which can be by feeding scraps directly only an estimated variable.

Last I see a commercial point that human food scraps are forbidden to feed if you want to sell your eggs/meat, but feed made from BSF are already approved by many countries.

BSF Farms can be sized from small tote Containers for a single household or whole animal food factories depending how much waste you get.
Byproducts range from high degree liquid and "dry" fertilizer to bio diesel for machines.  
The www. offers an abundance of designs.
 
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I was told chickens need to eat three things.  Seeds, greens and meat (generally bugs).  So the food scraps satisfy the greens and sometimes the seeds element but rarely have much protein.  The maggots are great protein.  So I'd be tempted to feed some of the scraps to the chickens and some to the bugs so the bugs can be the protein for the birds.
 
gardener
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Sarah Qaswarah wrote:Is it more profitable to breed maggots in food scraps instead of feeding them directly to chicken?
Or is it done because the chicken need the protein?
I'm seeing it being done with meat and carcasses more that plant based scraps.

What's the secret?

Breeding maggots on meat and carcasses is easy, but there are some things to consider. The big one being the risk of botulism, which can be fatal to the chickens. I believe the risk is greater with older carcasses. I'm a big fan of Harvey Ussery's approach to feeding chickens. He was a proponent of using maggot buckets and had this to say, after having some issues with botulism and losing hens to it,  
"I’m more cautious about use of this method of generating “free protein” than when I wrote this article. I have not given up on the maggot buckets, I may well experiment further to determine how to reap the benefits of the system, without creating a danger to my flock, but for the moment I have suspended use of the maggot buckets. Fresh carcasses that come my way I am feeding to the layer flock directly, not as maggot-generating substrate. My past experience indicates that the chickens resist eating a carcass encased in fur. However, if I open it up a bit with a hatchet, they utilize the muscle tissue and internal organs quite efficiently. If there is an inherent problem with the maggot buckets, it has much to do with the anaerobic nature of the feeding medium, anaerobic conditions are more conducive to pathogens (including C. botulinum) than aerobic ones."
https://themodernhomestead.us/protein-from-thin-air/

Another consideration with growing maggots on carcasses is that if you have neighbors, they may not appreciate the smells and flies very much. It could also attract predators to your chicken area. If it were me, I'd probably take the route of feeding fresh carcasses or meat straight to the chickens. Though I wouldn't give them other birds.

I am working towards a chicken composting system inspired by Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres. He has lots of youtube videos about it, but the basic idea is that he brings in all kinds of compost scraps (mostly vegetables, weeds and restaurant leftovers) and lets the chickens eat what they want. What they don't eat feeds red wiggler worms that live in the run and have some protected areas the chickens can't get to. The worms seem to be reaching epic numbers in his system. The chickens get some sprouted grains too, but it seems the scraps and worms are the bulk of their diet. I'm nowhere near achieving that, but to me it seems pretty ideal and lower risk than maggots. He does also sometimes feed fresh roadkill directly to his hens. They are tiny dinosaurs, after all.
 
Sarah Qaswarah
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See Hes wrote:I am reading a lot about black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens) and found some significant advantages.
They eat literally everything from wet fruits to fish/meat offal with a few exemptions like pineapple peels and hard stuff which can be composted.

The major one of them is that the grubs have some properties that eliminates any virus and disease and making these grubs even suitable for human consumption.

The other would be that you have a good control about how much goodies like protein your chicken get, which can be by feeding scraps directly only an estimated variable.

Last I see a commercial point that human food scraps are forbidden to feed if you want to sell your eggs/meat, but feed made from BSF are already approved by many countries.

BSF Farms can be sized from small tote Containers for a single household or whole animal food factories depending how much waste you get.
Byproducts range from high degree liquid and "dry" fertilizer to bio diesel for machines.  
The www. offers an abundance of designs.



These are some good points, thank you. Now I have some concern with Heather Sharpe's mentioning botulism though...
I'll have to look more into the bio diesel. The website you mentioned at the end is incomplete.. Could you post it again?
 
Sarah Qaswarah
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Mike Haasl wrote:I was told chickens need to eat three things.  Seeds, greens and meat (generally bugs).  So the food scraps satisfy the greens and sometimes the seeds element but rarely have much protein.  The maggots are great protein.  So I'd be tempted to feed some of the scraps to the chickens and some to the bugs so the bugs can be the protein for the birds.



That makes sense. Do you have a favorite system for growing bugs?
 
Sarah Qaswarah
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Heather Sharpe wrote:Breeding maggots on meat and carcasses is easy, but there are some things to consider. The big one being the risk of botulism, which can be fatal to the chickens. I believe the risk is greater with older carcasses. I'm a big fan of Harvey Ussery's approach to feeding chickens. He was a proponent of using maggot buckets and had this to say, after having some issues with botulism and losing hens to it,  
"I’m more cautious about use of this method of generating “free protein” than when I wrote this article. I have not given up on the maggot buckets, I may well experiment further to determine how to reap the benefits of the system, without creating a danger to my flock, but for the moment I have suspended use of the maggot buckets. Fresh carcasses that come my way I am feeding to the layer flock directly, not as maggot-generating substrate. My past experience indicates that the chickens resist eating a carcass encased in fur. However, if I open it up a bit with a hatchet, they utilize the muscle tissue and internal organs quite efficiently. If there is an inherent problem with the maggot buckets, it has much to do with the anaerobic nature of the feeding medium, anaerobic conditions are more conducive to pathogens (including C. botulinum) than aerobic ones."
https://themodernhomestead.us/protein-from-thin-air/

Another consideration with growing maggots on carcasses is that if you have neighbors, they may not appreciate the smells and flies very much. It could also attract predators to your chicken area. If it were me, I'd probably take the route of feeding fresh carcasses or meat straight to the chickens. Though I wouldn't give them other birds.

I am working towards a chicken composting system inspired by Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres. He has lots of youtube videos about it, but the basic idea is that he brings in all kinds of compost scraps (mostly vegetables, weeds and restaurant leftovers) and lets the chickens eat what they want. What they don't eat feeds red wiggler worms that live in the run and have some protected areas the chickens can't get to. The worms seem to be reaching epic numbers in his system. The chickens get some sprouted grains too, but it seems the scraps and worms are the bulk of their diet. I'm nowhere near achieving that, but to me it seems pretty ideal and lower risk than maggots. He does also sometimes feed fresh roadkill directly to his hens. They are tiny dinosaurs, after all.



This is all very interesting, thanks a lot!

I'll definitely be checking out Harvey Ussery.
But Sean Dembrosky I know, and I was actually intending to make a similar chicken-compost-system for my chicken. I was just wondering if I'd need an additional maggot bucket for them. At least in the beginning, when there aren't that many bugs in the compost yet.

Do share some photos if you set up your chicken compost!
 
Heather Sharpe
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Sarah Qaswarah wrote:'ll definitely be checking out Harvey Ussery.
But Sean Dembrosky I know, and I was actually intending to make a similar chicken-compost-system for my chicken. I was just wondering if I'd need an additional maggot bucket for them. At least in the beginning, when there aren't that many bugs in the compost yet.

Do share some photos if you set up your chicken compost!


He has some great info I wish I'd found earlier in my journey to feed chickens. His book "The Small Scale Poultry Flock" is excellent. His website has good portions of it available for free here: https://themodernhomestead.us/poultry/feeding-the-flock/
I'd think the black soldier fly larvae would be a good option in the meantime, if feeding meat directly to the chickens didn't work. I don't think they have nearly the risk of disease because their growth is more aerobic, so the organisms that cause botulism don't have the anaerobic conditions they need to flourish. I recall Sean had a BSF set up at one point, but hasn't made any follow up videos. I wonder why. They seem pretty cool and the chickens adore them. There's an article about them in the link above.
My system isn't generating many bugs yet, just lots of sprouted grains, which in itself is pretty nice for the chickens. I have been surprised how effective just leaving rocks or logs in there and turning them over periodically is. Always lots of bugs hiding out underneath. But nowhere near the amount of worms Sean has. One day...
 
Mike Haasl
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Sarah Qaswarah wrote:That makes sense. Do you have a favorite system for growing bugs?


Yup, I let the birds free range so they can find their own.  Mother nature grows them for me
 
Sarah Qaswarah
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Mike Haasl wrote:

Sarah Qaswarah wrote:That makes sense. Do you have a favorite system for growing bugs?


Yup, I let the birds free range so they can find their own.  Mother nature grows them for me



That's my goal in the future haha
Before I do that though I need to find mother nature and bring her back to our garden lol

I live in a pretty dry area with hard soil, so the few insects that start appearing in the garden are NOT for the chicken!
Maybe someday I'll have a big enough area for them to free range -and actually find something!
 
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Digging in yard, I find june bug larva ==> chickens.
 
Sarah Qaswarah
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Heather Sharpe wrote:
He has some great info I wish I'd found earlier in my journey to feed chickens. His book "The Small Scale Poultry Flock" is excellent. His website has good portions of it available for free here: https://themodernhomestead.us/poultry/feeding-the-flock/
I'd think the black soldier fly larvae would be a good option in the meantime, if feeding meat directly to the chickens didn't work. I don't think they have nearly the risk of disease because their growth is more aerobic, so the organisms that cause botulism don't have the anaerobic conditions they need to flourish. I recall Sean had a BSF set up at one point, but hasn't made any follow up videos. I wonder why. They seem pretty cool and the chickens adore them. There's an article about them in the link above.
My system isn't generating many bugs yet, just lots of sprouted grains, which in itself is pretty nice for the chickens. I have been surprised how effective just leaving rocks or logs in there and turning them over periodically is. Always lots of bugs hiding out underneath. But nowhere near the amount of worms Sean has. One day...



Thank you so much! Everything you shared was really helpful. I'll begin studying some of his material first then.
Let's learn from the master chicken keepers =D
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