Insects as chicken & other animal feed

LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

This is a very long article with very useful information should you want to naturally design or supplement your chickens' feed & keep it better through the winter months when insects, etc., are in short supply.

I was busy looking for feed ideas to help my marans eggs get a deeper red (brown/chocolate) color. There are a few tricks to obtaining the elusive dark red (brown/chocolate) egg. Certain specific feed ingredients is merely one of the strategies, but I could never find any information, no matter how I searched, about what that key nutrient/feed might be. I read years ago that diet makes a difference, and now I have found an idea of what might be specifically needed through this & other sites. It was kind of a "duh...of course!" moment. So, new fuel for an experiment.


  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin

    I've been looking into black soldier fly "auto-feeders" ... looks like a great option for chickens and fish!

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    I am thinking Astaxanthin as a supplement to their food my help with the coloration.

  • solarnoon.aspen
    solarnoon.aspen Posts: 219 ✭✭✭

    I tried putting rotting meat ( could be a dead animal, fish, freezer burnt meat) in a bucket and letting flies lay eggs. The idea is that with holes in the bottom of the bucket, which is suspended where chickens walk by, the maggots fall out and are quickly gobbled up by the chickens. Yes, maggots appeared, but the smell was awful and actually I worried about attracting bears. Well, it was a good experiment.

    One winter I set up to grow meal worms but they took a long time to go through their cycle - Probably because it was too cold. I could see them being a great food for the chickens - and fish. And if you had a nice warm room in the barn ( this was done in my bedroom) where you could do a LOT, it would be worth it.

    The soldier flies are also a neat idea for those of you who live in the south. Here they would have only a short time in the year to proliferate because of the winters. I've seen the growing device that catches the maggots and it looks slick.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    We are currently using dried BSFL for our seramas. They love them...the hedgehog, not so much.

    Unfortunately, we had to buy the dried product as our climate does not lend well to raising them. We bought a lot to keep the price lower. At least they last when sealed in a container.