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Why Feed Chickens Expensive Grain When: Insects, Maggots, Termites, and Worms Is Better?

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posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 08:04 PM
I’ll soon be selling some property, in order to begin Free Range chicken farming. It’s a life ambition; mainly because I really despise battery chicken farming, since out of all the reasons to be cruel to an animal; producing insecticide contaminated, undeveloped, low quality meat, has got to be the worst?
Even when a cow suffers, at least its death provides well over 100 meals whilst with a chicken it’s more like 3-4; also it’s rare to see a cow with bites-scratches all over its body, much less one in the same conditions as battery hen.

Which got me thinking: Why should I feed my chickens expensive Soya & Grain?
Surely there’s another way; like feeding them the grubs that constitute about 80% of the bird kingdoms, diet?

So I began Googling “insect farming”…
According to this website…

Raising insects is relatively easy: they require minimal space and have a better conversion (feed to meat) ratio than any other meat. Most species are also lower in fat and higher in protein (7-21 grams of protein per 100 grams of edible insect) than larger livestock meat (beef, pork and chicken). They are also an important source of vitamins (in particular, riboflavin and thiamine) and minerals (mostly zinc, copper and iron).

There are about 1,700 edible insect species worldwide but their nutritional benefits are a relatively recent discovery.

So says:

Turns out there’s been a lot of research done on the matter, but mostly with humans in mind!
Obviously its all well & good speculating about us ordering "a tub of maggots" at say BurgerThing-CrackDonald’s however until CO2-NWO successfully brings about mass-starvation inside the Western world, I suspect insects (for human consumption) will be strictly for foreign lands (and maybe even foreign aid?)

However nobody is really going to care if they’re eating a chicken that was feed on e.g. biscuits, made from dried maggots?
In fact I wouldn’t care if it crew up scavenging directly from animal dung, as chickens have brilliant immune systems and strong stomachs acids. Best thing would be, if in the consumer could "taste" the healthier meat.

And with grain trading near £200 a tonne…
The savings could be huge.

Thoughts On: Insect Harvesting…
1. Flies: Use a UV light to lure them into an Insectocuter collect fly bodies and machine-compress them into a paste, or dried-biscuit (for storage-export).
2. Maggots: Spread a paste (made from blended food) over a fine plastic net. Introduce flies, who lay eggs over it. Harvest (same) flies after egg laying. Maggots grow on fine net, and can be washed clean. Maggots can then be introduced to chickens-biscuit machine.
3. Worms: Providing soil (they’re in) isn’t too deep, I’d let chickens do hard work of removing them from soil. All farmer need do is use leftover’s from fly-maggot production to encourage high worm population.

Insect Food Sources…
1. Garbage: Council’s-States are increasingly demanding that households separate their food waste. I know it’s illegal in the EU to feed this waste directly to animals (could e.g. cause cannibalism, which caused BSE) however if the waste food was processed by insects digestive systems-bodies first, and if the insects were treated as a separate product (maybe even cooked first) then surely it would be ok? If not at least the EU doesn’t govern the whole planet yet!
2. Animal Dung-straw: Flies don’t have much problem living of dung, I’d like to find an insect that eats straw, am sure there is one, but don’t know its name. Currently our family farm, burns it on a bonfire!
3. Hedge Cuttings: Locusts and other leaf eating species would have a field day.
4. Wood: Turn it wood beattle-or Termites food (not possible in the U.K). Interestingly locusts produce hydrogen, and this could maybe e.g. power a constant flame.
5. Soil: Whatever is left by these processes could easily be converted into worm food.

Worm Breeding Notes… Vermicomposting
1. Eisenia foetida or Lumbricus rubellas are best types.
2. In ideal conditions these worms eat their own body wait everyday
3. They tend to double in population every month
4. And take one year to mature, so about 0.27% daily growth rate. Plus population increase of 1=2, 2=4 4=8 8=16 16=32 32=64 by 6 months (June)
5. In practice 1lb = 35lb after a year
6. Worms reach sexual maturity in 4-6 weeks, so become grandparents in 3 months
7. Worm castings are toxic, to worms when too high. So feed them in strips, and let them advance.
8. Worm soil neds air, but it musn't freeze either. Ground heat can prevent it.

My idea-notes: Keeping worms confined to a circular soil formation (sitting above a plastic ground sheet) would mean a JCB digger could easily remove worm casts, and worms for harvesting (before placing removed earth with clean soil, and fresh worm food).
This way both worm numbers, worm density, and soil rotation could remain fairly constant, and therefore be optimised for costs reduction.

No costly machine needed to separate worms, because removed worm infested soil could be given directly to Free Range chickens to scratch & scavenge over. Chickens would be far happier, and Free Range would be made cheaper.
Overall feeding chickens maggots could reduce-slow the human races, raping, of the Earth for our food purposes.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 08:18 PM
Maybe your way is the natural way, but I would stop eating eggs and chickens if they ate maggots and worms.

It's just the idea of it. To think that my scrambled eggs used to be maggots and that's what its made of.

Go ahead call me nuts. Everybody else does.

When I was a kid I used to go fishing a lot. We used worms and crickets and poles with bobbers.

I loved to fish, but I would never eat the fish. "Because they ate worms."

You might enjoy my thread on The Earthworm Charmer. Maybe you will post some of your compost info there.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by Alethea]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 08:40 PM

Originally posted by Alethea
Maybe your way is the natural way, but I would stop eating eggs and chickens if they ate maggots and worms.


Aletha, if you knew what half of the critters
you eat had eaten before they died, you
would probably be a vegetarian. hahahaha

I remember going to my grandma's farm
when I was a kid and she had about 50-60
chickens and a rooster in a hen house in
the back yard.

In the morning she would go let them
all out of the henhouse and they would roam
free all day. They would peck the ground
eating just about anything they could find.
Worms, crickets, flies, even ticks off each other.
And at the end of the day she would go out
and take a small bucket of feed and pour it
in their trough inside the henhouse and they
would all go back inside to roost for the night
and start all over again the next day.
Ah, the life of a chicken !!!!

But I will say those eggs she cooked
and the chicken she cooked was a he!!
of a lot better than what you find now days.
Those were the good old days

and I miss'em

Kids now days think chickens
come from the grocery store

but a word of advice:
stay away from the rooster
as he has spurs that will slice you up
pretty good.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by boondock-saint]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 08:46 PM
reply to post by Liberal1984

I wish all the best in your future endeavour Liberal1984 .

Its a great idea to `grow` your own protein rich chicken feed.
The less inputs the better ..... close the loop . Achieve greater sustainability without damaging the soil etc.

I think you would enjoy this, that is if you are unfamiliar with the speaker.
It was where i first heard of farmers removing cattle from fields , waiting the required few days for the maggots to mature in the cow dung. When the time is right , they bring in the chickens which greatly appreciate the extra protein and spread the dung around the field in their zealous quest for maggots.

Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma

At minute 29: 54 ..... he speaks of visiting one of these farms .

Enjoy .

[edit on 6-9-2010 by UmbraSumus]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 08:56 PM
I see you have done your research and it sounds very logical to me. I wish you all the luck in the world with your venture.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by crazydaisy]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 09:20 PM
Thanks everybody for the reception. I'm still 1-2 year away before any farm-barn construction starts. However (all being well) I should be able to obtain land almost directly opposite a rural rubbish sorting- transfer point (for our area; which has about 130,000 people). So am well placed to do the idea. However am still property developing at the moment, so must get other stuff finished first!

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 10:35 PM
Worlds Best Eggs (Pastured eggs are 3 times more nutritious.. ):

Here's an article recently written by Dr Mercola on the history of these incredible birds that originated in India and East Asia and came to North and South America with the Spanish explorers in the 1500s:

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 10:35 PM
I have a small backyard coop with 5 hens. They get corn but they also free range my back yard and keep it clear of all kinds of bugs. They also get table scraps. Chickens can eat whatever we eat. Free range chickens make the best eggs. They even eat the crushed up egg shells.
Commercially raised chickens get only corn. Their eggs are nasty and I would never subject my family to them. If you have never had real farm fresh eggs from free range chickens you should try it. You will never buy the eggs at wall mart again.

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