Friend Earthworm

Practical Application of a Lifetime Study of Habits
of the Most Important Animal in the World

by George Sheffield Oliver, B. Y. P.

Part II

Lesson 4

The Interior of the Economical Hennery

Popular poultry feeding systems will not work with Intensive Range -- Why poultry is destructive to gardens -- Poultrymen should take advantage of this knowledge -- Fowls should not be forced to glut to receive non-deficient foods -- Two methods of feeding Intensive Range -- Building the economical hennery -- Where earthworms come into the picture -- How to make an earthworm pit -- Henhouses for large poultry flocks

IN the preceding chapter the writer maintained that it is possible to construct a hennery to accommodate 100 hens for the small sum of fifteen dollars. A more definite explanation of its construction was omitted because there are a few highly important features necessary to meet the requirements of my system of feeding which must be explained before actual construction of the henhouse can be described.

Any hennery constructed after the general style described in the foregoing chapter, no matter how masterfully built, is not worth the space it covers if the poultryman does not follow the system of economical poultry feeding explained in this work.

To attempt to feed hens under any of the popular systems in such a henhouse would spell ruin for the poultryman.

The writer's sole aim here is to point out to the reader the road to economical poultry raising by feeding Intensive Range, and proper housing facilities for this system of feeding are necessary.

We must not lose sight of the fact that devitalized foods, for man, beast or plant, cannot furnish proper nourishment. Such food is responsible for the unnatural overloading of the digestive organs. This point is emphasized here because we are about to describe the natural food for poultry, one that has been distressingly pushed aside -- live food!

The poultryman does not have to be told that poultry is destructive to gardens, and the reason for this is that the fowls prefer sprouted seeds, insects, larvae and earthworms to all other varieties of food.

Admitting this fact, and it would be foolhardy to deny it, why do poultrymen continue to feed their flocks dead or devitalized food?

This is a question over which I have pondered these forty odd years. Why? Why? Why?

The term "Intensive Range" which, in due time, will be thoroughly described, was so selected by the writer because the food provided therein contains, in a small compactness, all the food elements that game birds and poultry can find on the range.

Intensive Range provides fowls with the necessary 18 per cent of albuminoids, 7 of fats and 75 of carbohydrates, which are approximately the percentages Nature intended. Fowls fed on Intensive Range will not have to gorge themselves in an attempt to obtain these essential food elements.

But before I yield to the temptation to wander too far afield, let us return to the construction of the interior of our hennery.

There are two methods of feeding hens Intensive Range, each economically productive. One of these is by means of "trays." The other, by utilizing the soil of the floor of the henhouse.

The first system is best to use for smaller flocks of poultry and where the ground space is limited.

The second method is more suitable for large flocks, ranging upward of a few hundred.

We shall begin with the first or "tray" method.

If the poultryman with a small flock of birds constructs the type of hennery discussed in the preceding lesson he should follow these general instructions:

Regardless of the shape (which is left to personal initiative) it should be lathed on the sides and top with a space between the laths sufficient for the hens to protrude their heads.

Adequate roosts should be built half way between the floor and the latticed roof directly over a pit three feet deep which has previously been excavated, then filled with about one-half manure and one-half peat moss (wood shaving or sawdust, if moss is not available). It is into this pit that we put our friends, the earthworms.

In the writer's experimental hennery 50,000 earthworms were originally placed in the pit. The reader should not be surprised at this seemingly Gargantuan amount. Earthworms are prolific breeders, and when properly raised will multiply at an astonishing rate.

It has been demonstrated that this large number of active earthworms are necessary for the above-described pit. A lesser number can not perform the expected work efficiently.

Once the pit is prepared, it should be covered with ordinary chicken wire, raised sufficiently to defeat any attempt of the chickens getting into it. Wire should also be placed upright around the edges of the pit to prevent the chickens from getting into the area from the sides.

The principle of the earthworm pit, in this, the "tray" method of feeding, is twofold.

First, the worms dispose of the hens' droppings, thus eliminating the unpleasant odor that is common to all ordinarily-operated poultry yards, and eliminates the disagreeable task of cleaning the henhouse.

Second, as the worms multiply, they burrow beyond the limits of the wired pit and thoroughly impregnate the ground. Once in this outer area, the scratching hens will unearth and eat them.

Repeated studies and observations lead us to believe that hens will not eat more than from seven to nine earthworms a day, provided they are fed vitalized food such as that contained in Intensive Range.

The original filling of the earthworm pit is all that is needed. A hen's average droppings approximate 75 pounds annually. This amount of fertilizer (from 100 hens) assures the replenishment of the pit permanently.

The water supply should be planned so that the overflow from the hens' drinking fountain will find its way into the pit which, at all times, should be kept moist to a degree bordering sogginess.

Nests should be conveniently placed, both for the hens and the individual who collects the eggs.

The poultryman should also prepare an earthworm master pit, or culture bed, beyond the confines of his new hennery, for the sole purpose of furnishing castings for the "trays," for earthworm castings make the finest rich soil. It is in this soil that Intensive Range is prepared.

Intensive Range for fair-sized flocks is best prepared in wooden boxes. For small flocks, one hundred or less birds, I have found discarded wash basins, many of which may be purchased at secondhand stores for a few pennies, ideally suited for this work. However, almost any type of container may be used with more or less satisfactory results.

Intensive Range "trays" are filled with earthworm castings, peat moss (or substitute) and grain. (See Lesson 5.) The "trays" are then set aside and left until the grain sprouts. The contents is then dumped out and placed outside the pen, but within reach of the fowls through the slats.

For the second method of feeding Intensive Range -- which is more suitable for large flocks -- we must build a somewhat different hennery.

The same general principles are followed as in the first hennery for the first method of feeding with provision added for sprouting the grain in the scratching area of the pens.

Each hennery, therefore, must be divided into two compartments or pens, to be occupied alternately.

My personal opinion in regard to large flocks of poultry is that henhouses, similar to those already described, be constructed with accommodations for from 15 to 25 birds.

My preference for these buildings is about 8 feet long, 8 feet wide and 2 feet high.

Earthworm pits are provided as in the first method, to take care of the hen's droppings and propagate the worms, some of which escape into the outer scratching area. The hens occupy one side of this enclosure while the grain, which has been sown in the other side, is sprouting in the scratching area, now rich in earthworm castings from the worms that have made their escape from the pits.

The grain sprouts in from seven to ten days, at which time the hens are moved back into this pen and the same procedure is carried out in the other compartment.

Assuming that I have covered the construction of these particular types of henhouses as well as this volume permits, the reader is now ready to learn more about Intensive Range, of which the following chapter concerns itself.

Lesson 5

Intensive Range

Intensive Range -- Its development through the years -- More about devitalized foods -- What Intensive Range will do for poultrymen -- How to prepare it -- Making the trays -- Do not overfeed poultry -- Fat hens are poor layers -- Intensive Range is a balanced diet, replete with all of Nature's elements necessary for healthy birds -- How to sprout grain

I APPROACH this chapter as I imagine a dramatist would when he brings his leading character to the climax, for this chapter is, indeed, a climax, not only of this volume, but of many years of experimentation. I have labored through many an anxious month awaiting the outcome of one or more experiments, and, if they failed, which many of them did, I figuratively hitched up my belt and started the nerve-racking tasks all over again.

Now, in retrospect of the twenty years of experimental work with Intensive Range, it seems as if it were only yesteryear when I first attempted preparing a natural food for poultry in compact containers. Through those years I have changed plans and experimented and changed them again, until today I wholeheartedly believe I have succeeded in developing a natural food for poultry that will stand the severest of investigations.

I would probably be charged with sophistry were I to expound Intensive Range as a perfect poultry food, but I fear no such charge when I indite that Intensive Range has more of the qualities that constitute perfection than any other poultry food.

It should be noted that I do not refer to Intensive Range as a "formula." In cycles of more or less annual occurrence, farm and agricultural journals give space to articles that invariably presage a millennium (that never arrives) for poultrymen through a new poultry feed formula.

To the active poultrymen, these formulae are old, old stories. As yet, no genuine revolutionary commercial poultry feed has been brought to my attention, though steps in the right direction were taken when dehydrated seaweed (kelp) was added to poultry feed.

I say "steps in the right direction," because seaweed contains thirty-five of the forty-eight known elements found in the sea. As a food adjunct, for man, beast or fowl, I can not muster enough praise for this marine plant.

Spasmodically exploited and usually short lived formulae merely add confusion to an already distressingly confused business, a confusion traceable, I believe, to the various claims made by many commercial poultry feed manufacturers and dealers, wholesale and retail.

A large majority of these commercial feeds, many of them devitalized, are far removed from what are naturally the best regimen for poultry; and these feeds are, in my opinion, driving the domesticated fowl farther and farther from their true nature.

In spite of the large part domesticated poultry plays in man's dietary of the present day, these fowls and their eggs are actually late additions in his cuisine.

[All of the represented types of poultry -- Sebright Bantams. Black-Breasted Red Games, Dark Garnish or Indian Games, Japanese Bantams, Silver-Spangled Hamburgs, Pit-Games, La Fleche, White Leghorns. Black Langshans, Buff Cochins, Partridge-Cochins, Light Brahmas, Mottled Javas, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Silver-Gray Dorkings, Houdans, White-Faced Black Spanish, Black Monircas and White-Crested Black Polish --have come down to us, through various degrees of breeding and crossbreeding, by a circuitous route from India. To citizens of Burma probably goes the credit for being the first to domesticate fowls, perhaps about 2000 B.C. Later (about 1500 B.C.) domesticated fowls appeared in China. From there they were introduced to Europe, thence to the Western Hemisphere. No mention of fowls or poultry is made in the Old Testament, though eggs (probably of birds of the air) are referred to four times, in Jeremiah, VII:11, (about 600 B.C.); Isaiah X:14. (about 710 B.C.); Deut XX:11-6 (about 1450 B.C.) and Job BI:6 (about 1520 B.C.). The New Testament refers twice to hens and thrice to cocks. It is also interesting to note that the early Britons would not eat domesticated fowls, tabooing them as they did the hare and the goose.]

Until about half a century ago, most domesticated birds in the United States were raised on feed that contained much of the necessary food elements their feathered bodies required. Then, with the coming of Big Business, and, later, exploitation of poultry as a get-rich-quick enterprise, poultry began to be fed more and more on commercial feed.

For the most part, poultrymen of the last two or three decades seemingly have forgotten how their fathers and grandfathers raised chickens. The modern poultryman appears completely satisfied with the knowledge he receives from advertisements that blandly promise -- too often in ambiguous phrases! -- unbelievably wonderful results from the advertisers' feeds.

I have talked to many poultrymen who consider themselves modern. Many of these men look upon the manure pile as an abomination. In my heart I actually pity believers in this form of modernism, just as I pity the individual who knows the earth is flat. Both individuals are in a mental mire from which no man can extricate them. Their only escape is through the proper use of their own reasoning faculties.

In offering Intensive Range to the poultry world, I do so convinced that it will be received by two general types of persons.

On the one hand will be the poultryman who will realize the value of live food for his flock and will welcome the information I have to give; on the other hand will be the Sir Oracles who propound as infallible the virtues of their own methods of feeding poultry regardless of the facts that the mortality rate of their flocks is high, the cost of producing eggs is not below that considered an average minimum and their feed bills run unreasonably high.

For the latter type of person I paraphrase Emerson: "Condemnation before investigation is a barrier that will hold any mind in ignorance."

Conscientious preparation and feeding of Intensive Range will produce benefits all poultrymen seek, but few find. Each of these benefits, which I emphasize by numerical classification, is a cardinal point sought after by all poultrymen.

Intensive Range will --

  1. Reduce the feed bill about 50 per cent.
  2. Reduce the cost of egg production about 50 per cent.
  3. Reduce poultry mortality rate appreciably.
  4. Reduce anatomical disorders in poultry.
  5. Reduce poultryman's labor appreciably.
  6. Increase the average longevity of fowls about 50 per cent.
  7. Produce more fertile eggs.
  8. Produce better meat birds.
  9. Eliminate "bare backs," or nearly featherless birds.
  10. Eliminate henhouse odors and cleaning.
  11. Eliminate the feeding of meat.
  12. Supply the fowls with pepsin. (See Lesson 6).

These benefits are accomplished because Intensive Range is based on natural laws regarding food energy. Fundamentally, these laws evolve from the basic principle that all animal life is dependent, directly or indirectly, on vegetable life.

Ages before being domesticated, fowls lived on insects, insect larvae and the live seed germs of plants. Were fowls permitted to return to their native state, they would soon seek out this kind of regimen, and, in time, would probably redevelop their wing spread and power to take once again to the air, as their distant antecedents did in the ages agone.

Why, then, should we not feed these fowls what is by nature their proper food?

If the reader agrees with me that chickens should be thus fed, he will readily see how and why Intensive Range provides a natural food supply for them.

For small, fair sized flocks of poultry, Intensive Range is prepared, as previously noted, in trays.

The equipment and material needed consists of --
A. Earthworm castings -- from the master pit.
B. Earthworms -- not more than twelve.
C. Peat moss -- or substitute.
D. Grain -- barley, wheat or oats.
E. Fish Gills -- or other fish, meat or fowl offal.
(See Lesson 6.)

In the earthworm castings, the soil, having passed through the digestive apparatus of the earthworm, has been thoroughly triturated. This treatment of the soil breaks down most, if not all, of the chemical and mineral elements and properties, making them more easily available to the roots of the grain, thus adding to the quality of the roots and sprouts.

The container in which Intensive Range is prepared should be filled with mixture of --

The "Trays" are then set aside and kept moist until the grain sprouts, which takes from seven to ten days, depending on the temperature.

In cold weather, the "trays” may be artificially warmed, thus assuring the grain germs enough heat to germinate and grow. Care should be taken not to overheat the Intensive Range.

When the grain has sprouted, the contents should be placed outside the hennery, but within reach of the fowls.

The writer considers one basin of Intensive Range sufficient to feed twenty-five hens for two days. Once the poultry raiser has prepared a few basins of Intensive Range, he will find that a basin can be prepared in less than three minutes.

In addition to Intensive Range, poultry should be fed (at night) dry grain (preferably wheat), about one pint to twenty hens. One must regulate the amount of grain according to the fatness of the fowls. Do not allow them to get too fat. Fat hens are poor layers.

Grit should also be supplied, preferably shells which supply a goodly portion of lime.

Persons with small flocks will, in a short time, keep sufficient "trays" under preparation, so that when one "tray" is consumed another will be ready to take its place, thus keeping the chickens constantly supplied with live food.

All ages of poultry will benefit from Intensive Range, from very young -- for whom this method is exceptionally beneficial -- to very old.

For larger poultry farms, Intensive Range is prepared inside the enclosure of the hennery by utilizing the scratching area.

While the birds (divided according to your personal idea, from ten to twenty-five chickens to a unit) are cooped in one side or compartment (see preceding lesson), the grain is sprouted in the other.

Here we follow the same general principle as when preparing Intensive Range in "trays." The scratching area, being impregnated with earthworms and their castings from the pits under the roosts, is permanently ready to be planted in grain. The amount planted here is governed entirely by the area the poultryman wishes to cover.

Grain planted in hennery soil will, in warm weather, take root and sprout within ten days. In colder weather it may be found necessary to cover the hennery with canvas, something that should be done in all severely inclement weather.

We shall now move another step forward, into Lesson 6, where we shall observe the part the bluebottle fly plays in Intensive Range when properly put to work by poultrymen who seek sound profits; there, too, we shall observe some further facts regarding food for poultry, intelligent management of the poultry farm, and a few points that should be indelibly impressed on the minds of all persons desirous of receiving profitable returns from their investment in henneries, stock and feed.

Learn to keep the door shut, keep out of your mind and out of your world, every element that seeks admittance with no definite helpful end in view.
-- George Matthew Adams

Lesson 6

Putting the Bluebottle Fly to Work

The truth about flies being enemies of man -- J. Henri Fabre quoted -- Subject of fly larvae should not be considered obnoxious -- Potency of the house fly -- Pepsin -- Fly larvae high in this necessary element -- Preparing trays to trap the larvae -- How to encourage the "blow" where it will be beneficial for poultry -- This system is sanitary, and, when properly operated, will very likely rid the poultryman's house of annoying "blowflies"

COUNTLESS ages before homo sapiens evolved from some yet undetermined anthropoid, various small, two-winged insects flitted about heaps of decaying animal and vegetable matter. Among these were insects which we have come to call flies.

To the ordinary person of so-called civilized areas of the earth, the fly is a pest to be ensnared on sticky paper, trapped, swatted or cursed according to individual inclination.

Thoughtless persons might imagine that if flies were banished from the earth, this swirling sphere would take a long stride toward becoming a paradisical place on which to live. However, if such an extermination were humanly possible, which it is not, instead of the earth becoming a paradise, it would quite likely become much more of a hell than it is now claimed to be by pessimists.

Since modern medicine became so interested in public health and sanitation, we have been taught, from earliest school days, that the fly is an abomination, a bearer of disease, epidemics and death.

With no desire to "stick out my neck," I shall not deny the element of truth found in those statements, but I do object to any system that offers through our educational channels a half-truth. And to claim that the fly is only a bearer of sickness and disease is a half-truth.

Science is quite cognizant of the good work the fly performs in life; a good work it was performing long before man acquired the ability to use or misuse drugs and surgical instruments.

"The larva of the fly," says J. Henri Fabre, "is a power in this world. To give back to life, with all speed, the remains of that which has lived, it macerates and condenses corpses, distilling them into an essence wherewith the earth, the plant's foster-mother, may be nourished and enriched... " There are hosts of these larva "to purge the earth of death's impurities and cause deceased animal matter to be once more numbered among the treasures of life," Fabre declares in his remarkable book, "The Life of the Fly."

[Jean Henri Fabre (Faw-br) was born in France, December 21, 1823, and died October 11, 1915. He was a schoolmaster, Professor of Philosophy and a scientist of immortal note. His literary works include, "The Life of the Fly " -- which every reader of this volume should read -- " Insect Life," "The Life of the Spider," "The Mason Bees," "Bramble Bees and Others," "The Hunting Wasps," "The Life of the Caterpillar," "The Life of the Grasshopper," "The Sacred Beetle and Others," "The Mason Wasps," "The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles," "More Hunting Wasps, "The Life of the Weevil," "More Beetles" and "The Life of the Scorpion." Fabre's works show a minute and sympathetic observation of the habits and lives of insects. Charles Darwin was a sincere admirer of Fabre and bestowed upon him the title of the "incomparable observer." Fabre wrote in a friendly, intimate and absorbing style.]

As the reader may have observed, a few references have been made to the fly in previous chapters. I purposely did not go into detail regarding this insect and the part poultrymen may easily make it play (and pay) in producing better poultry. I saved what I have to say about the fly and its eggs and larvae for this chapter. Here I shall devote sufficient time and space to the subject without confusing it with other matters.

For the past two decades I have found it practically impossible to discuss this matter without having the subject changed by listeners; as if speaking about flies and their eggs was a forbidden subject.

This disinterested reception of what I know to be beneficial facts (substantiated by reputable men of science) is, to say the least, discouraging. Many times I have resolved to cease attempting to point out the value of the fly to poultrymen, for it seemed to me to be a waste of valuable time trying to interest apathetic individuals in putting the fly, particularly the bluebottle, to work.

I have realized for many years that this subject is eschewed because of the wholly black reputation given the fly. It is to be admitted that flies can, and do, carry bacteria on their feet and the hairs of their legs and bodies. That these bacteria have, and do, infect humans is also admitted. But accusing the fly as the arch criminal in this matter is merely excusing the ignorance, carelessness and apathy of the general public.

The healthy human body, the body nourished by non-deficient foods, is quite capable of throwing off the bacteria brought to it by the fly or any other medium. It is the weakened body, the poorly and improperly-fed body, that is susceptible to illness. Such bodies are fertile breeding grounds for disease bacteria.

However, in the fact of this general attitude toward the fly, her eggs and larvae, I am determined to approach the subject without further detours. No matter how much the reader may object to this subject, he can not interrupt what I have to indite. Of course, he may set aside this volume or skip this chapter. He can very easily close his eyes and mind to the facts I have gathered here. After all, it is up to the reader whether or not he wants to increase his knowledge and raise better poultry by putting the bluebottle fly to work.

Flies, like all other living things, are divided by naturalists into species. These cover a wide variety, extending from the small, gnatlike fly to insects very closely related to beetles.

Our concern is especially with the common housefly, of which there are a number of species. Common names for these are blowflies, horseflies, fleshflies, screwflies, gray fleshflies, greenbottles and bluebottles.

All of these are classified by science as Luciliae. Loosely defined, this means flies that glitter. These are all familiar to us, even if we can not distinguish one from another.

Reclassed for our purpose, I divide these flies into three groups:
A. Greenbottle.
B. Gray fleshflies.
C. Bluebottles.

The first two species are not given to haunting our kitchens, though both of them do pay occasional visits to the culinary department when attracted by strong cooking odors.

It is the bluebottle that despoils our poorly protected viands. She is the "blowfly" whom all housewives abhor, mayhap curse femininely under their breaths.

However, both the greenbottles and the gray fleshflies also "blow." That is to say, they select a suitable piece of decaying animal or vegetable matter and, in some dark recess, "blow" the contents of their ovaries into it.

During this egg-laying period, which varies between species, each fly lays from 100 to 600 eggs, or, as in the case of the fleshfly, hundreds of live larvae or grubs.

One mathematically-minded writer has shown that the progeny of one housefly -- from May 1 to September 30 -- will number three trillion, nine hundred and eighty-five billion, nine hundred and sixty one million, seven hundred and fifty-five thousand, one hundred (3,985,961,755,100).

In the case of a bluebottle -- henceforth we shall dismiss the gray fleshfly and the greenbottle -- the eggs hatch in about two days, if the weather is warm.

From these eggs appear small worms, 0.029 of an inch in length. In a wriggling mass, the worms instantly begin to seek nourishment.

"They do not eat, in the strict sense of the word," says Fabre, "they do not tear their food nor chew it by means of implements of mastication. Their mouth-parts do not lend themselves to this sort of work."

Through their oral openings, the larvae (frequently and not inaccurately called grubs) excrete saliva that instantly liquifies the matter it contacts, turning it into a broth. This they drink.

Digestion is, after all, a form of liquification. In the instance of the bluebottle larva, it digests its food before swallowing it.

This curious form of exterior digestion is of vital interest to all poultrymen.

Pepsin, which fowls have no way of preparing within themselves, is the chief necessity of adequate digestion. Fowls, especially those raised as meat birds, should therefore be fed foods containing pepsin.

Commercial pepsin is scraped from the membranes of the stomach of the pig and the sheep. Yet, as Fabre points out, commercial chemists "would obtain a product of the highest quality" from the larvae of the bluebottle, for these grubs produce a "pepsin of singularly active kind."

From the moment the larva breaks from its egg, it begins to eat its way through the approximate ten days before it enters the dormant cocoon period.

As the larva approaches the cocoon period, it departs from the home it has had since birth. Under favorable circumstances it leaves its surroundings and buries itself in loose soil to a depth of a few inches. There it remains until it breaks free of its cylindrical home, the cocoon, and, after adjusting itself physically to its new life, flutters its wings and goes about its life as a full-grown bluebottle.

It is the embryonic stage -- that of the larva between the egg and the cocoon -- in which we are especially interested.

Not only is this grub a delicacy for fowls, both domesticated and game, but it is extremely high in pepsin, as I have already stated.

However, the poultryman who wishes to put the bluebottle fly to work for him should not imagine that he is pioneering.

Many years ago, caretakers of large European estates fattened fowls, domesticated and game, by a method of feeding fly larvae to the birds.

The system employed by the caretakers, which may be employed today by poultrymen, was to hang a piece of meat above a tray of meal. The meat was hung high enough to permit the air draft to carry off the odor. The flies "blew" this meat, the eggs hatched, the larvae grew and, in due time, fell into the tray of meal. Here the birds snatched them eagerly.

In putting the bluebottle fly to work, poultrymen with small flocks may attract the flies to their Intensive Range "trays" by placing fish gills, other fish offal, or decaying offal of any kind upon the top of the "trays."

These trays may be so placed as to avoid annoying either the neighbors or members of one's family by the odor. Be assured that the flies will find such "trays" and will "blow" them.

Properly-managed attractions for flies may actually rid the poultryman's home of "blowflies." If objectionable decaying matter is easily obtainable in the "trays," the flies will desert the kitchen.

My preference in preparing magnets to attract the bluebottle so that the birds will receive the utmost from this type of food supply is to --

  1. (For small flocks) -- Prepare the "trays" as above.
  2. (For large flocks) -- Follow the system used by European caretakers of poultry.

The latter is best done by suspending the decaying matter near the ceiling of the hennery. This should be done so that there will be an air draft that will carry off the odor. Odors from decaying matter are gaseous, and, being lighter than air, will rise and dissipate in the open air.

Little if any labor is required to keep this larvae-breeding matter perpetually functioning. When the decaying matter is hung, the flies will locate it and Nature will take her course. When the larvae have matured to a degree where they are ready to enter the dormant stage, that period during which the larvae is transformed from worms to full-grown flies, they will drop into the tray set directly beneath the decaying matter.

The genuinely sincere believer in this system may carry on the feeding of larvae throughout the year by constructing a fly-house. Here, by keeping the house adequately heated in cold weather, properly sealed, though admitting sunlight, bluebottles may be successfully raised.

From a sanitary viewpoint, this system should meet with general approval for it segregates and controls the fly larvae. One of the objections invariably brought forth by persons to whom I have mentioned this system of feeding live food to poultry is that it will breed flies.

No statement can be further from the truth. Instead of breeding flies, it actually reduces their number.

It does encourage the breeding of larvae, but fly larvae are not flies.

In conclusion I wish to emphasize one paramount point -- money can be made in poultry if the poultryman will, first, feed live food to his birds, and second, reduce his cost of feeding them.

I do not claim that my system of Intensive Range is the acme of poultry feeding systems, but I do claim that a poultryman can develop it to a point where he may rightly claim it perfect.

The power to think, consecutively and deeply and clearly, is an avowed and deadly enemy to mistakes and blunders, superstitions, unscientific theories, irrational beliefs, unbridled enthusiasm and fanaticism.
-- Haddock

The Housefly by Prof. Roy Hartenstein
Poultry for small farmers -- High-protein poultry feed from thin air

Table of Contents
Part I
-- Introduction
Lesson 1 -- History of the Earthworm
Lesson 2 -- The Habits of the Earthworm
Lesson 3 -- Habits of the Newly Developed Earthworm
Lesson 4 -- Potential Markets for Earthworms
Part II -- Introduction
Lesson 1 -- What Is Food?
Lesson 2 -- The Life Germ and Better Poultry
Lesson 3 -- Economical Poultry Housing
Lesson 4 -- The Interior of the Economical Hennery
Lesson 5 -- Intensive Range
Lesson 6 -- Putting the Bluebottle Fly to Work

Part III -- Introduction
Lesson 1 -- Natural and Man-Made Enemies of the Earthworm
Lesson 2 -- The Trout Farmer's Problem
Lesson 3 -- Feeding Problem of the Frog Farmer
Lesson 4 -- Housing the Earthworm Stock
Lesson 5 -- General Care and Feeding of Earthworms

My Grandfather's Earthworm Farm
Eve Balfour on Earthworms
Albert Howard on Earthworms
The Housefly

See also:
Vermicomposting resources

Community development | Rural development
City farms | Organic gardening | Composting | Small farms | Biofuel | Solar box cookers
Trees, soil and water | Seeds of the world | Appropriate technology | Project vehicles

Home | What people are saying about us | About Handmade Projects 
Projects | Internet | Schools projects | Sitemap | Site Search | Donations |