Warning: Disgusting factor on this post high. Cute factor nil. It’s about larvae. For cute, click for chicks.
I had a hen die of natural causes. I was digging a hole to bury her in when I thought, What am I doing? I need to use her as a protein generator, a la Harvey Ussery. His wonderful, destined to be classic, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock suggests creating your own, and better quality, chicken feed, in part by generating grubs from offal.
I don’t think we have the estimable black soldier fly up here in Nova Scotia, but there’s no shortage of flies to lay eggs on dead things.
I got a beat up old metal bucket that has been drilled full of holes in the bottom, rolled the stiff bird into straw and jammed her in the bucket surrounded by straw. This is supposed to make her smell less.
Then I hung it up with a grub catching bucket beneath it, hoping for the best.
Then it started to smell. About like you’d expect. Sniff sniff. Did something die around here?
Couple days later, I look, and wow! A seething mass of beige grubs! And more ugly black beetles.
I fed those grubs to the hens. It was anti-climactic. In the several seconds it took me to take a couple pictures, everything was consumed, including the beetles. I wasn’t expecting that.
Oh, but then… in the evening, the bucket had a wondrous quantity of grubs in it.
Stomach turning, really.
When I overturned this bucketful for the hens, I got a better reaction. The usually reserved, stay in the background rooster lost the plot entirely, shrieking his food notifications, bombing his big body into the middle of the pile and doing the chicken moonwalk so that all the hens flew up squawking in surprise. I’ve never seen him lose his composure like that.