Tag Archives: offal

Grub generator reboot

(mild gross factor warning for very sensitive – grubs)

My “new and improved” grub generator wasn’t working.  The original buckets were better.

YouTube instructionals notwithstanding, the grubs don’t walk up the vacuum hose.  They don’t negotiate the ridges very well.  What they do do, is crawl around that flat ridge near the top of the Rubbermaid, and they have no trouble crawling straight up the sides of the plastic.  They really make time too, it’s sort of amazing.  They’re on a mission.So I bored a couple holes along that flat ridge on either side for them to fall out,And put on a little tray to catch them.My biggest “move” though, was physically moving the thing out of the edge of the woods, to right in the middle of things at the corner of the greenhouse.  The biggest downside is smell.  It’s not as bad as you might imagine (I don’t think), and the smell comes in phases (as do the grubs).  It smells the day before a “shipment” of grubs come, and doesn’t smell while they’re  productive.  It doesn’t smell, it smells…I can live with it. Smell and inherent grossness on one hand… vs. recycling, free chicken food, and high quality protein supplements for my birds – it’s a good trade.

Moving the box of death into the middle of everything is mostly so that the chickens use it.  And boy do they.  They are always around it, keen eyes out for any escaping grub.  Little Pepper is a real addict. Always at the box.  She’s gonna be healthy.

Even in the pouring rain – I was out there slinging water – I saw the teens running over periodically to check for grubs.Grubs teeming out into the tray. Perchick partaking.  I removed the vacuum hose after the drilled holes proved effective.  Not quite there yet, but closer.  It’s an evolution.

And now, something cute:Chicks (teens) cashed out in the heat.

Chicken Dinner- Generating Grub (s)

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.

2015-07-13 08.22.39On the first day, there was nothing but a few big black scary-alien-species carrion beetles in the bucket.  Oh well.

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.

2015-07-13 08.23.48Grubs were just dripping out of the crack in the upper bucket.

2015-07-13 08.22.15Interestingly, the appearance of the grubs coincided with a sharp drop in the smell factor, from noxious to not noticeable.

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.

2015-07-13 20.05.28
One day’s worth.

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.