Tuesday, December 18, 2012

POTA Update

Some of you may have read a previous post about our attempts at finding sustainable home resources for feeding our livestock.  Well, the search is still on but here is the update on how it went with the Protein Out Of Thin Air method.

Overall the experiment worked great.  After about a week the bucket was teeming with life.  The chickens had a field day eating all the larvae.  Our ducks did not show any interest in the whole affair but the hens were in a frenzy when the maggots started dropping out of the holes.  The down side was that the whole experiment smelled 
p-r-e-t-t-y bad.  We were thinking that because it rained during the first few days and the bucket got really wet inside, the mulch that was supposed to be a dry buffer and cut down on the odor did not do it's job.  

One fellow flockster I read about hoists his buckets up above his chicken run, 20-30 feet high avoiding the smell which is carried away by the wind.  (I'm not sure how his neighbors appreciate that, but it does seem like it would work.)  I have also read that some people have multiple maggot buckets going in their chicken yard at once, which would be a more efficient way to conduct this method if you are really trying to feed the flock mostly from home resources.  In my opinion the summertime with the hot dry weather would be a more conducive time to use this method so that the smell could be more manageable.  I have not given up on producing protein out of thin air but I think we will wait for the dry season to do it again. It was definitely worth trying and with some tweaking could be a useful way to provide partial feed for free.

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