I’ve had chickens for the past three years. As I eyed them in the store, I decided on six straight run bantams that were more than just a day or two old. As such, the manager offered me a 50% discount…they were only a few days from flying about the store. So, out I walked with 18 straight run bantams and the need for a coop.
I should probably mention that I have a brother who loves me greatly. Really, he does. If he loved me any more, he’d kill me. See, he gets the fun of building, or helping me build, what I need on my homestead. I think he loves dealing with my “crazy”, as he calls it. 🙂 I do love the chicken tractor he built me, but that’s another post.
So, in feeding my chickens, I started to wonder how I could get them more of the protein they needed, but with less work. It’s actually a pretty gross set-up that I do remove and hide with family visits. And it has a name! I never knew that, tho I have wondered if anyone else had ever done the same thing.
It’s called a maggot bucket and it’s fabulous! Just take a small 1 gallon bucket (I use a springtime bucket with a handle from Walmart) and drill a bunch of small holes in the bottom of it. You’ll want the holes to be no bigger than 1/4 inch. Leave a section in the middle that isn’t drilled. Once you have this done, set up a way to hang the bucket inside the run and up where the chickens can’t get into it. Add a few pieces of raw meat to the bucket and wait for the flies to lay their eggs. As the maggots move around to find food, they will fall through the holes…feeding the chickens below. My chickens lost all self control over their fresh food!!
Now, as I mentioned above, I do hide this when family comes to visit. I’m not so sure my sister and her family would enjoy knowing the chickens are eating maggots before laying the eggs I send home with them. Although, now it’s no longer a secret. lol
If you’re looking for a great way to give your flock more protein with less work, give the maggot bucket a try. 🙂