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  • Writer's pictureCait

A bucket of......what?

Feed cost is something anyone raising animals focuses on. For me its a huge factor since I've turned my little farm into a small business. There are so many options when it comes to what to feed your animals and where you buy it. Personally I like to buy through a small local farm or Co-op. Im lucky enough to have both organic and non-go at both locations.

{If your new to chickens or considering one of those, let me just clearify that any Organic feed is Non-GMO. However a Non-GMO food is not necessarily organic. Thats something you'll have to research and decide which is right for you.

Both of these feed options are going to be more expensive. Keep in mind you want to shoot for feeding each bird about 1/3 pound of feed each day. Dont worry! There are many ways you can cut the amount of feed you need down!

One easy way it to use a free ranging system or chicken tractor. This gives them access to forage for greens, insects, natural grit, and minerals. thats can provide up to 1/3 or more of what they need each day.

Another easy way is ....... a maggot bucket. I know how it sounds. My husband is not a fan, but its an amazing free source of food! I can't take credit for the idea. I saw it on a youtube video Justin Rhoads did! (LOVE HIM) Ill link the video!

Heres how it works!

Here is my bucket!

What You'll need.....

- Large bucket with lid

- Drill and drill bit about 1/2 inch or so (big enough for a fly to go in or out)

- String to hang bucket or a tripod

- the key ingredient........MEAT...use meat that you would be throwing away or couldn't use. This could be house scraps like old lunch meat or dinner left overs. For us its chicks that don't make it, leftovers when we butcher chickens or other animals such as deer, heads, feet, innards are perfect, meat you didn't get to in the freezer or that has gone bad will also work!

1. Use the bucket w/lid of our choice! I choose a 21/2 gallon bucket because its what I had laying around! You can use a 5 gallon bucket if you choose! I have also seen a few videos of people who use a bucket with no lid!

2. Take the drill and drill holes about 2 or 3 inches down from the top of the bucket, this is where the flies will come in.

3. Next drill a few rows of holes toward the bottom of the bucket, I made 4 rows about an inch apart and just cuz I alternated where they were to spread them out. When the maggots craw up they will use these holes to come out, no need to make it perfect

4. Turn the bucket upside down and drill more holes, they will use these holes to get out as well so put as many as you'd like. Again the placement does not need to be perfect just go for it!

5. Now all you need to do is choose a place to put your bucket. I hung mine from a tree about 2 feet high so my chickens and turkeys have room to scratch underneath. Put your meat in and put the lid on. Thats it! Give it a few days. Boom automatic feeder! The maggots will eat everything in the bucket and all that will remain are feathers, fur, or bones, you can put those into your compost or burn pile!

Here is also the link to Justin's video

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