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Protein for Your Poultry Falls From The Sky

Posted by on July 31, 2017

Whether you are plagued with flies, or not, if you have poultry you should have fly buckets.  Harvey Ussery explained them in his book, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.

Basically flies are attracted to food for their offspring. They fly around, find moist foody type stuff, lay eggs, the eggs hatch, the larva gorge, grow, get ready to pupate.  When fly larva pupate they prefer to do so in the ground, so when they are ready the travel downward (geotropism). When they do that in your bucket with lots of holes in the bottom, they fall to the ground and your ever watchful chickens snap them up.

Free protein.

And that fly that laid those zillion eggs in your bucket, did not lay eggs some where else away from your chickens, only to have those pupating children of theirs grow up, fly into your house and bug the snot out of your city mother visiting for the day.

I use offal from when we butcher our livestock or poultry, I tend not to use animals that die suddenly potentially from communicable disease.  You can use kitchen scraps, especially the stuff your chickens won’t eat.

When do you need to recharge?  You can keep an eye on the ground beneath the bucket.  Fresh stirred dirt implies an active bucket.


This picture shows an active fly bucket over head. Notice the well scratched dirt.


This bucket is just about out of larva and needs fresh stuff. You can see the activity is infrequent.



5 gallon bucket, lid optional.

3/8″ drill bit  (and the drill)

Baling twine (this might just be me, but every project must have baling twine)

Food waste, the best of the best is meat or offal from butchery.

Shavings for those with sensitive noses. I don’t always use shavings, it is rather a spontaneous judgement call.


Drill holes all over the bucket, on the sides and lids so flies go in, and the bottom is important so that the larva can fall out.

Put a fine layer of shaving on the bottom especially if you have squishy large intestines that can cover up the holes.

Put in your fly-delicious fly food.

Put more shavings around and over the glop.

Put on the lid, if you have one.

Hang above your chickens social area.  Placement is important, you don’t want the chickens pecking at the bucket but not so high that you forget it is there and walk into it with the top of your head.  Plus, when I recharge it, I like not having to take it down, just toss more in. There does come a time that I have to take the bucket down and empty it out onto the compost pile and start over.

Happy fly-bucket making, happy chicken free feeding, happy fly-free living!  (Nearly)


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