Eco-friendly Maggots- FREE BAIT- Natural Food

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Intro: Eco-friendly Maggots- FREE BAIT- Natural Food

Free-range chickens are quick to gobble down various bugs and worms. Coop-raised poultry can only benefit from a maggot-enriched diet.

Wild fish, farm-raised fish and many aquarium fish can't resist maggots either. 

If you're an Angler and you don't want to depend on (or pay) the bait shop for maggots, this DIY tutorial can keep you camping and fishing with free bait all summer. You'll never have to worry about an empty baffle box again.

Maggots are easier to raise than worms. They're a nutritious, natural food that's rich in protein. They're FREE, easy to manage and not nearly as disgusting as you probably imagine.

If you're serious about living off-the-grid, this information should help alleviate your maggot-anxiety and facilitate a more self-sufficient lifestyle. You probably already have the modest equipment needed to start farming so it won't cost you one red cent, either.

Step 1: The Story of Big Momma

Just to be clear, I didn't start this ible to gross anyone out or change the world. I haven't fished with maggots for a couple of years. I don't raise chickens and I don't have a pet lizard.

The inspiration for this ible mysteriously appeared twelve days ago.  It flew right in my back porch. It sounded like the usual noisy bumblebee, banging itself against the closed window, trying to escape.

"IT" turned out to be the biggest freaking house fly I've ever seen in my whole, oldish life. (Since I'm older than duct tape, that's saying something.) 

I proceeded to capture and jar the gargantuan fly. I wanted to show my wife and I was just plain curious about what species it was. I thought maybe the internet could solve the mystery. Then I got side-tracked.  By what I don't remember.

Here is The story of Big Momma.

Day ONE:

I remember my captive godzilla fly and go to check, expecting it to be legs-up and dead. Nope!  IT is a SHE-it and as active as ever. She's laid at least 100 1/4" eggs in the empty jar. 

That's where this ible really began. I figure BIG fly egg= BIG maggot. BIG maggot= BIG FREE fishing bait. FREE fishing bait= CRAP! I'm too busy to go fishing. :(

I toss a few tiny pieces of raw chicken meat into the jar anyway and leave big momma to her maternal business.

Day TWO:

Big momma, 48 hours post-capture, active and laying eggs on the chicken meat.

Whoever said houseflies only live 24 hours never met a housefly like Big momma. 

Day THREE:

Big momma's family must have sent out a search party.

One of Big momma's cousins buzzes in and kamikazes directly into a sink full of hot dishwater. My wife hears the plop, sees the cousin, then calls me into the kitchen to rescue it. I transport the groggy patient to Big momma's jar.

The family reunion was brief, however. Big momma's cousin dies sometime during the night. 

Day FOUR: 

Big momma appears to be winding down. Her life-cycle is clearly coming to an end.

Day FIVE:

RIP Big momma. Sorry, no funeral. Quasi-autopsy shows that she measured in at nearly 7/8" . I place Big momma, her cousin and the egg-laden meat into a larger plastic container.

Day SIX & SEVEN:

No sign of life.

Day EIGHT:

No sign of.... WAIT. I check the underside of the container and there they are. Big momma's big babies are feeding underneath the rotting chicken meat.

Day NINE to PRESENT:

11 Big maggots feed voraciously for 3 days then stop eating. All maggots (but 1) are now climbing away from the rotting meat toward the top of the container.

Big maggots are now at the favored stage for fish bait and chicken feed.  If refrigerated, they will remain viable bait for up to 3 weeks.

Big maggots are placed in a containers filled 1/2" with corn meal. They burrow immediately.

CONCLUSION:

I expect the maggots to cycle into the pupa stage very shortly.  Soon they'll emerge just as big as Big Momma. I'll update this ible with pictures of the pupa in a few days.

btw, did you know that pet spiders are especially fond of pupa?  

FREE MAGGOTS:

Unfortunately, I'm leaving the country in about a week. I can't keep the farm going. If you are interested in raising BIG MOMMA Flies that will cycle into BIG MAGGOTS, just message me and I'll mail the pupae to you free of charge. I'd be interested in hearing all about the future generation of Big mommas if you are so inclined. 
 

**UPDATE** BIG MAGGOTS ARE NOW PUPAE. They are needing a new home before they hatch. See the last picture.

Step 2: How to Farm Maggots

Begin farming maggots with just a few supplies. You will need:
  1. Bait container: 1 large plastic container with a lid.
  2. Uncooked, decaying meat or canteloupe to bait the flies.
  3. Holding container for mature maggots: 1 small plastic container with a lid.
  4. Corn meal for the holding container. 
If you're starting with fresh meat, put a few small pieces into the bait container and snap the lid on. Put it outside in the sun for a day. On day 2, take the lid off. The meat should smell rancid. 

If you're using canteloupe, put a few slivers into the bait container

Put the container in a warm spot outside. Leave it out for a day or 2. Female flies will land on the food and lay their eggs. Cover the container and bring it in at night. Cats, dogs and racoons may thieve your smelly bait if you don't.

On day 3 put your covered bait container in a safe, shady spot outside where animals can't bother it. Wait and watch for the maggots to hatch.

When the maggots have hatched you can let them feed for a couple of days or you can put them into the small holding container with a few teaspoons of corn meal. Refrigerating the maggots will keep them in a temporary state of suspended animation until you're ready to use them. 

To feed fly pupa, put the maggots in the small container with corn meal once they have stopped feeding. Do not refrigerate. Put the container in dark place. The maggots will burrow in the cornmeal and become pupa in a few days. Refrigerate after they have reached the pupa stage. If the pupa are not refrigerated, they will hatch into flies.

To farm a revolving supply of maggots:

As the maggots hatch, remove them to the holding container. Add meat or canteloupe to the bait container as needed and start from the beginning again.

Be aware that maggots are excellent climbers. Do not leave the bait or holding containers uncovered. The maggots will escape or get eaten by predators.

You can also start raising maggots like I did. Catch fly a few flies and see what happens. I don't know how to sex a fly, but the females are reportedly bigger than the males. 

If you've never handled maggots before, now is as good a time to start as any.

Maggots aren't slimy like worms, but they do squirm. They don't bite, no matter what you see in movies. You don't even have to touch them if you have tweezers. The most unpleasant part of raising maggots is the smell of the bait container if you use meat. If you think that'll be an issue, you might want to use canteloupe.

Good luck!

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    58 Discussions

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    STEMChick

    1 year ago

    This was a Fabulous read!!! Thank you! Not only am I chicken keeper , but also a science teacher...definitely turning this into a lesson!!

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    DebbieC110

    2 years ago

    Thank you this is very helpful. If you haven't got rid of big momma yet I would love to her pupae

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    BLASTFEMI

    2 years ago

    Thanks for all the great info! I'm going to give this a try to make supplement food for my chickens.

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    jadekikyo

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey look-y there! We both made it to the front page side-by-side. How funny is that? Maybe a conversation was lucky, lol.

    10 replies
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    jadekikyocloudifornia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I think that's a great idea. You'll need something smaller then webbing though. On Frasier they once made a gecko leash with dental floss. That might work. ;-)

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    jadekikyocloudifornia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh yeah I bet she would be thrilled to making little dental floss maggot leashes for you. I can totally picture one of your maggots wearing a dental floss harness and leash. Only problem now is where do you walk a maggot?

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    cloudiforniajadekikyo

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    If my wife makes the leash, I think you should volunteer to walk the maggots. This was your idea, wasn't it? :-D

    You could even put a little moustache on one to win the moustache challenge!

    maggot.jpg
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    jadekikyocloudifornia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Ok the picture of the maggot with the mustache is completely adorable. I didn't know there was a mustache challenge. Is the prize an electric razor?

    Hey now as much as I would love to take credit for the idea of a maggot harness and leash I must admit it was your idea. Well ok the harness was my idea and the dental floss was too but I was just trying to help. I wouldn't want you to try using webbing for it and have "big mama's" spawn high tailing it down the sidewalk and getting away. After all we all know how speedy those little beasts can be. ;-)

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    jadekikyocloudifornia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    This is true. Plus you know if they were left to their own devices they maybe grow even larger. Or worse yet they may find some umbrella corp product and then we would have giant zombie maggots....... with mustaches. OH DEAR GOD!!!!! Yes, please tell your wife to cancel the maggot leashes....


    Btw, thanks for the link. :-)

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    cloudiforniajadekikyo

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    oh God! Zombie maggots? I never considered the possibilty!

    The maggots are gone and my wife is missing!!!!! Maybe she's taken them for a walk?????

    I should have warned her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Link? argh!!!! My wife is missing and you're talking about link?????

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    jadekikyocloudifornia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Lol, sorry just saw you replied. Poor wifey! Has she turned back up yet? Hopefully she hasn't been transformed into a zombie... wait if a zombie maggot bites you do you just turn into a zombie or a zombie maggot?!

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    R.A.T.Mcloudifornia

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    ya i fish lots fly fish (you don't use them for that but ) ice fish open reel lots it only for when its cold out to get them moving so they scwerm in the water i ice fish the real fishing not in a cabin on the water and i pack my lip with 2-3

    so i wold say yes it is

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    cloudiforniaR.A.T.M

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I've never been ice fishing but I believe you.

    These maggots were lively in my hand. I cannot imagine putting one in my mouth. More power to you!;-D