How to produce housefly maggots
Are you thinking of how to reduce the cost of feeding your catfish then this article is for you. Catfish farming involves growing your catfish from fry to adult catfish, this is capital intensive and requires feeding them pelleted feed.
The major cost of catfish production is the feed, it cost about 2/3 of total expenditure, therefore finding alternative feed to supplement the pelleted feed is important.
One of the best ways to save costs and reduce cost of feed is to produce housefly maggots. Housefly maggots are a good substitute or supplementary source of protein.
Why produce housefly maggots?
Protein in catfish feed is the major ingredient that provides faster growth in catfish and maggots has loads of it. Maggots have 45% protein making them a rich source of feed for your catfish.
They are easy to grow because you harvest them within 4 days. Another reason is the use of basic household items to build the farm.
In this publication we will highlight steps on how to produce housefly maggots for your catfish farming.
Catfish farming is the growing of catfish in an artificial environment for commercial purposes. You need a few equipment like a block or plastic pond with an inlet and outlet.
You need a source of clean water like well, or borehole. Next install a water pumping machine, then buy your fingerlings or juvenile catfish from fish farmers.
Finally buy catfish feed for your fish, make sure the size of the pellet feed is easily eaten by the fish. You have the choice of feeding them once a day or twice daily. It takes about 6 months for the fish to reach table size and ready for the market.
Feeding catfish is the most expensive part of the venture. Let us estimate how much it costs to grow 1000 catfish in a pond. We would not include the set-up cost like pumping machine, pond, water.
Current price of juvenile in the market is from N25 to N30 ( March 2022) therefore 1000 fish costs 25, 000. To grow them to 1 kg you need about 15 to 20 bags of 15kg each.
Each bag costs N10, 000 to N11,000 therefore 20 bags at 11,000 is N220,000. You can now see the huge cost of feed therefore finding alternative feed is very important.
How long does it take to produce housefly maggots?
It take only 3 to 4 days to produce housefly maggots. It is best to harvest them on the 4th day.
How do l produce housefly maggots for my catfish farming?
To produce maggots for your catfish farm you need a few items. Things you need are a used tire, wire mesh, 4 large stones, bucket, small bowl, shovel, chicken dung.
Things you need to produce housefly maggots
- Wire mesh
- 4 large stones
- Small bowl
- Chicken dung
Steps to produce housefly maggots
The first step is to find a shaded area, preferably under a tree. Then clear the ground, remove any shrubs or leaves. Peg 4 corners to make a square shape that can easily accommodate the tire, dig or escavate about 4 inches of dirt.
Once you have dug your square piece of real estate place the tire squarely in the middle.
Next step is to gather the chicken dung that is mixed with organic matter, or food waste and pour it in the center of the tire. It doesn’t have to fill the tire, halfway is ideal. Use the shovel to make sure the dung is broken up.
Cover the tire with your wire mesh and use the stones to hold it in place. This is important because the wire mesh will keep out rodents or lizards from eating your housefly maggots.
Water the dung twice daily in the morning and evening. Make sure you use the bucket and bowl to water thoroughly every morning and evening. Your intension is keep the dung moist to attract houseflys to lay their eggs.
After 4 days remove the mesh and use a stick to prod the dung you should see a lot of maggots, especially in the corners or darkest regions of the tire.
How do l harvest housefly maggots?
After 4 days it is time to harvest your housefly maggots, use a stick with hands gloves to sift through the dung to remove them. Once you have gathered all of them you have three ways to use them as catfish feed.
Ways to use the harvested maggots
There are three ways to use the harvested maggots as fish feed. The first and simplest way is to feed them directly to the fish.
Another way is to add them to other fish edibles like earthworms then feed to fish. Some fish farmers prefer to process them into powder form and add to the fish concentrate.