Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mutant armadillo maggots

"Say, what's in that bird feeder?"


Chilly nights, so I've pulled Repulsive's ramp-to-adulthood for the season. While the latest angled tube was not a perfect solution, this year's version had one feature I shall definitely reprise: the hands-free catchment jar. 'Cause I'm all about not having to handle the BSFL.

A soda bottle and a threaded plastic elbow joint made a perfect terminus for mature larvae, with a few pinpricks around the bottle's shoulders allow for sufficient airflow to keep them from immediately suffocating, and the dry wheat bran I sometimes remembered to include to slow them down a bit.

Still haven't found a chicken farm in need of any calcigrubs.

Leaving mature grubs in a closed system seems to upset the still-feeding ones--not to mention, it can become extremely unpleasant when they die in droves and more or less liquefy--so Repulsive's ramp is necessary for much of the year whether or not I do anything with the late-instar iterations. Leaving the bottle off the end of the tube isn't happening; setting them all free would only invite the possums and raccoons to an all-night buffet. So now and then I have a bottle half filled with grubs. I could, I suppose, bring that bottle to the landfolks' place and give their pet chickens a treat, but if the goal is just to feed birds, I have those closer to home. A whole flock of wood doves, a few mockingbirds, cardinals and assorted songbirds I couldn't tell apart with a guide...

Campfire Girls, Boy Scouts, 4H-ers and all the rest know how to make a bird feeder out of a soda bottle and a bit of wire, a plate and this and that. Or one could simply buy a feeder kit like the one pictured above (no affiliation, but it's a whole lot prettier than mine!).

Next year, I might think about camoflaging the bottle so as to hide the contents from my view. Certainly I should have thought about that before hanging one on someone else's property, though I did have permission to do so. Hadn't really thought what it might look like to the neighbors.

"Wow. Birds really like that new feeder there. Um, uh. Where'd you get that weird feed? It looks like it's...MOVING!"

Now there's a marketing strategy: Armadillo grubs. Local-grown living bird feed.

Actually, here in Austin, that might just work.



Anonymous said...


I am curious about your experiments and results, particularly with feeding bokashi to BSF rather than redworms. Please contact me at patrick @ I will treat you to a coffee. I am here in South Austin.


D. S. Foxx said...

Bokashi in Austin, yippee! I'll take you up on that coffee, and write up your site and all that, but had to take the chance to say welcome.

Well, and to correct a misapprehension: not "rather than," doesn't work. Red wigglers produce vermicompost; BSFL just eat. So I don't feed bokashi, if you mean the cured contents of a bokashi bucket, to BSFL. I compost bokashi, vermicompost it, or planter-finish it, in order to take full advantage of the nutrients in my gardening. What I feed BSFL is mostly stuff I choose not to put in my garden directly, like scrapings from the cat food dish and meat still on the bone, plus spoiled/molded items that can unbalance a ferment. I do add EM to the grubbery, but that's by way of grubby breath freshener.


DeDe said...

Oh YAY! I love finding a new-to-me blog that is info & experience rich. I'm now curling up in my favorite chair, getting a giant cup of coffee, heading back to your 1st post, and reading through all of your pearls of wisdom.

I've been vermicomposting for about a year, and bokashi bucketing for about 6 months. Still don't feel like I really have a handle on either method, but am having fun learning, anyway.

Can't wait to read more about your adventures!


D. S. Foxx said...

Welcome! Always nice to meet another bokashi-er. And vermicomposter, too.

Handles? Some of the buckets have those, but me, I'm still handle-free. So you're in good company. -G-