By Joseph Mugenyi
Maggot farming is the act of growing maggots for the agriculture industry. Maggots are the usual houseflies at larva stage.
Many maggot farmers prefer using imported black soldier flies to local houseflies simply becuase black soldier flies lay more eggs compared to the local houseflies, this implies you need few black soldier flies to startup your farm.
Also, you should know that local houseflies carry germs which isn’t the case for black soldier flies.
Now, since animal feeds like soyabeans and fish metals are expensive to farmer, maggots have turned out to be the best substitutes since they are cheap to grow and manage with less input.
Maggots are a source of nutrients mainly proteins and other natural nutrients that the livestock need to feed on to perform their daily activities. Other nutrients include lysine, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, fatty acids, amino acids, iron etc.
They are also eaten by people due to their high protein content and sweet taste. Also, maggots are a potential solution to waste management on the farms because livestock wastes are the raw materials for maggot production.
How To Start Up A Maggot Farm?
1. Select location
– Select a location with near by vegetation like trees and leaves to absorb the odour from the pen house.
– Check for termites and other predators that can feed your maggots and then put protective measures.
– Construct a pen house that can suit your space and scale of production.
– Floor the pen house with concrete.
– You can start by using a plastic drum as a substrate drum and a collecting drum.
– Construct drainage around the pen house to avoid termites, lizards and rats which would damage your maggots.
2. Raw materials
These are the attractants which will attract the flies.
– Poultry droppings is the popular raw material for maggot production. You can get these from poultry farmers.
– Rotten fruits and food is also a good alternative to poultry droppings.
– Adult flies feed on organic decaying matter.
– Maggots feed for 4-5 days then migrate to the pupate in a dry place.
– Flies mate and lay eggs during the feeding periods.
– 450gms of fresh manure can feed 1500 maggots.
Adult female houseflies lay about 500-1000 eggs (100-200 eggs per day) in 4-5 days.
– They lay the eggs on the substrate ( poultry droppings or rotten food/fruits)
– Eggs hatch within 8-12hrs.
– Larva stage lasts for about 5 days while pupa stage for 4-5 days.
– House flies have 6days cycle under controlled conditions.
– Water the substrate to increase production.
– Maggots are ready to be harvested in 2 weeks time.
After harvesting them, they can be consumed by animals either fresh or dry.
Mugenyi Joseph (MJ Farmer) is a senior agronomist and agribusiness entrepreneur based in Kibiito. He can be reached on 0788741353. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.