Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Build a High-Protein Dispenser for FREE Chicken Food!

Found a nice little article that will help all those who have chickens, through the winter and the rest of the year saving you money by feeding natural, and high-protein, and FREE feed to your chickens with a little material found 'round the homestead or farm with a dollar or two thrown in for some minor materials.

The article I gleaned this info from is out of the "Countryside & Small Stock Journal" Vol 96 No. 6 November/December 2012, Page 61, by Jeff Hoard.

Basically the articles author explains how to create a maggot dispenser for your chickens using some simple materials:
  • Flat plywood- to put under dispenser to catch & feed chickens on a clean surface.
  • 5 gal. bucket with lid, bottom cut out but leave a 1" lip around it to hold a round piece of grate or heavy wire mesh.
  • Grate or Heavy Wire Mesh
  • Charge (dead animals, meat scraps, or raw fatty meat products. Don't use anything sick or dying.)
  • PVC Coupler
  • Long piece of ABS pipe
  • Auto Heater Vent Hose
  • Skirting-for little bird & wind barrier
  • Tools for cutting & Drilling
 The author goes on to explain how he put the dispenser together and how it works:

     "I mentioned ours being a deluxe model and I'll explain. The hanger/vent was made out of scrap pipe. At the top I inserted a long piece of ABS pipe. The horizontal hanger is another short pipe that is welded over a hole that I cut in the main vertical pipe. A little below that are two more short pieces of pipe in a v-shape that stick out on each side of the hanging bucket. These serve as bumpers. On the lid of the bucket, I inserted an appropriate sized PVC coupler and a piece of auto heater vent hose, which attaches from there up to the hanging pipe.  This is how the odor is vented up and out at the top of the long ABS pipe. Like the vent system, the "skirt" that was installed on the bucket is certainly not a necessity but does perform some added functions. first, it keeps smaller birds from hanging off the bottom trying to eat their fill. Second, the skirt serves as a wind catch. Third, as the chickens go for the maggots they hit the skirt to hopefully dislodge a few more. Fourth, it helps keep the charge from drying out (very important). I did drill one small hole in the center at the top of the bucket's lid to allow for moisture to be added onto the charge if needed. " (page 63)

The author continues with some tips, "Install the dispenser 20 ft away from the chicken house,  in the shade, this will help draw the flies away from the flock and the flies are immediately drawn to the charge. They then lay their larvae on the charge and the larvae then turn into maggots, hundreds at a time and as they grow larger they get heavier and eventually fall through the grate and onto the plywood below to be gobbled up by a waiting chicken. It usually takes about 5 days for the maggots to start dropping and as long as the charge is refreshed," there is a constant supply of high-protein feed for your chickens and it's free! Chickens can keep laying with this feed and greens for quite some time, without the need for corn scratch!

I scanned the image directly from the magazine in order to show you all what they've created and about how it'll look when finished. It's in pdf form so you will need Adobe PDF viewer to see the file>> PDF

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