Feeding maggots to chicken is an easy and economical way to provide protein and fat. Most people will immediately picture a smelly pile of garbage with house fly maggots feasting on rotting meat, but it is not the case. While it would be possible to use house fly maggots, the problems with smell, fly infestation and transmission of diseases are almost insurmountable. Using solider fly maggots solve all of those problems. They feast on a regular compost pile, but the absence of meat limits the occurrence of diseases. Soldier fly maggots are also auto-harvesting and adult soldier flies both stay away from humans and secrete a pheromone that repels house flies.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
Build or repurpose a container to grow your maggots. You need to use a container from which the maggots cannot escape. Do not use a compost pile with an open bottom. Commercial solutions such as the Biopod are available to you if you do not wish to build your own container. Install a ramp around the container for the maggot to climb. Drill a hole at the top of the ramp. The maggots ready to become adults will instinctively get out of the pile and proceed up the ramp. You can either put the container in the chicken area and let the maggots be eaten by the chickens as they get out of the container or put a bucket under the hole to collect them.
Collect soldier fly maggots from an existing compost pile. If you do not have an available compost pile to harvest, order maggots online or leave the container open and hope some soldier fly maggots will lay their eggs in it. Once you have a colony established, the adult soldier fly maggots will keep coming back as long as there is food in the container. Fill the container with manure, kitchen scraps without meat or any green material. Keep the material moist, but do not soak it; this will drown the maggots.
Keep the pile warm. Leave it in an heated barn and use thick insulation when building the container. With enough soldier fly maggots the temperature inside the container will be kept around 32.2 degrees C. If there are not enough maggots to sustain the temperature levels needed, the maggots will take longer to mature (as long as 6 months). You can also use a passive solar system to maintain a regular temperature.
Tips and warnings
- Free a few maggots in the dirt near by to allow them to become fly and repopulate your container.
- You can Freeze maggots if you have too much.
- Do not feed too many maggots to your chickens as they are high in fat and protein.
- Adult soldier fly maggots do not bother humans because they do not need to feed when an adult. They do not have mouth and live only to breed.
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