Crawly and slimy, maggot, the soft-bodied larvae of the housefly, is not something most people want to touch with a barge pole. A maggot found in a living room is regarded as a disgrace to the family. If it is found in the kitchen, it would be a disaster. And if any maggot should find its way into the bedroom, it would precipitate a nightmare. This is because not only is maggot not a sight to behold ordinarily, it is also repulsive consequent upon its affinity for materials that are in varying stages of decomposition. So, maggot is seen as a symbol of degeneration and deterioration as well as a harbinger of sicknesses and diseases.
But that is where its downside ends. Maggot breeding is a very veritable avenue for money making because the larvae comes handy in the production of animal feeds. Many people have become millionaires by culturing maggots for fish farmers as well as other farmers. Maggot is said to be rich in protein, amino acids and minerals which are essential to building up the muscles of livestock animals.
Maggot breeding, as a business, has to be taken seriously because it is critical to fish and animal production in the face of an ever-growing human population in dire need of animal protein. As observed by David Drew, Managing Director of AgriProtein Technologies, a South Africa based company that specializes in breeding maggots and recently built a $10million maggot culturing facility, “By 2050, at the current rates that we are using fishmeal, we will need two more planets’ oceans to feed ourselves. The world’s population is also expanding exponentially, with India and China helping drive poultry, beef and pork consumption.”
So, it is maggots to the rescue.
Maggot as animal feed
When maggot is defatted, dried and ground, it becomes a very nutritious meal for animals because of its rich protein content. In this form, it is an irresistible repast for fish, fowls and pigs. Aside being a standalone meal, dried and ground maggot can also be mixed with other animal feeds to enhance their nutrients.
Maggot as oil
Oil extracted from maggot does magic on animals; it keeps them healthy and well-nourished. It is usually mixed with different types of animal feeds to bring out its best.
Maggot as manure
Maggot is also used as manure for improving land fertility because of its richness in nitrogen and other minerals.
Maggot is bred using organic wastes. It neither requires much space nor huge energy to produce. Breeding maggots can be done both on large and small scale. The starting point is to get an enclosed space, which could be a farmland or a plastic container to keep organic waste that may be gotten from animal or man. The next thing is to get a stock of common house flies, black soldier flies and blowflies into where the waste is. As the flies feast on the organic waste and mate, the female ones lay eggs. Some of them lay as many as 2,500 eggs. Shortly after this, the eggs are incubated before metamorphosing into maggots. After about two weeks, the maggots are ready for harvesting.
The maggots can either be processed into other finished products such as animal feeds and oil or sold to end users locally or internationally.
A container of 200 maggots goes for $10 at the international market.