Friday, October 15, 2010


Maggot is the larvae of the domestic fly (Musca domestica). 
Farmers should facilities for and engage in the mass production
of maggots as a solution to the high cost of feed in fish and livestock
A brief review of a maggot production
1) Role of maggot in development
i) Provides a source of nutrient for fish and other live stocks.
ii) Provides fertilizer for crop production.
iii) Protection of the environment as wastes are concentrated and
iv) The technology for maggot production is simple and cost effective for
2) Choice of site for Maggotry
Maggottries should preferably be located away from human residence - in
places where there are trees. The leaves of the surroundings vegetation
serve to absorb offensive odor from the maggotry and reduces the ambient
3) Maggot compartment or Housing
The building should preferably be oriented in an East-West direction to
reduce the effect of direct sunlight on the substrate.
Specifications : The garble roof type of building with openings at the top
and sides for ventilation is recommended. The roof can be made of
corrugated iron sheets or thatch. The following dimensions are
in use :
Height of building:
Floor to eaves = 2 meters
Floor to ridge = 3.2 meters
Wall of building:
Open sided building with very short walls to allow for optimum free flow of
air. The dwarf wall should be 0.4 meters higher than the maximum water
level in the surrounding canal.
Floor : The floor of the building is flat concrete and plastered. The
rectangular building has a central passage (0.8m wide) in the middle with
substrate tanks arranged on either sides of the passage.
Substrate tanks : Maggot substrate tanks are open shallow concrete tanks
where the fly larvae are cultured. Each tank is 1 meter square and 0.1
meter deep. Each side has railings of 0.12m.
Collecting tanks: These are narrow tanks 0.3m wide and 1 meter length
running parallel to the substrate tanks where escaping maggots are trapped
and harvested maggots are cleaned.
Surrounding Canals (or gutters): The entire building housing the maggotry
is surrounded by a canal (or gutter) containing water to prevent the
invasion of ants and other crawling predators. This canal which is 1meter
wide is used in raising tilapia and catfish which feeds exclusively on
stray maggots and phytoplanktons in water.
4) Maggot Culture
To produce maggots, the following prerequisites must be satisfied :
* House fly (Musca domestica)
* Suitable substrate
* Fly attractants
In Songhai Center, the substrate used is fermented grain residue namely
brewery spent grain. The fly attractants include animal manure like pig and
poultry wastes ; animal offal from the abattoir, dead lizards, birds, rats
and other animals - we also use decaying fruits like mangoes. Mango is a
Good attractant.
Production Procedure:
Maggot production is an aerobic fermentation process.
To produce maggots, proceed as follows:
* In a clean substrate tank (1m x 1m) place 4 shovels full of fresh
animal manure and 6 shovel full of fresh brewery spent grain. Mix them
* Cut the animal offal into small pieces (10cm length) and spread them
in the middle on top of the substrate.
* The flies are attracted immediately to lay eggs.
* During dry weather, water the prepared tanks, using a watering can.
* Small maggots are observed about 6 hours later ( after first contact
of flies with substrate)
* Water the substrate daily. The drier the weather, the more frequent
the watering. Avoid water logging of substrate.
* The maggots attain optimal size in 3 - 4 days and are then ready to
be harvested. Minimal temperature of 30 C or more is required for maggot
Other points to note:
During unfavorable weather, decomposition is slow and the substrates should
be turned daily, before the first harvesting. At about 6days old, maggots
become slow and relatively insensitive and are ready to be transformed into
adult flies.
5)  Harvesting of maggots
Harvesting of maggots begins on the 4th day after 1st contact of fly with
substrate. The maggots are of the right size at this stage.
To harvest, proceed as follows:
*   i) Water the substrate (few seconds later, the maggots migrate to
the surface of the substrate).
*  ii) Place fresh brewery waste and some fresh pig or chicken manure
at the corner nearest the migration terminus.
* iii) About 30 min later, the maggots are attracted to the substrate.
Scoop the maggots with a hand spade into the collecting tank where the
remaining brewery waste is removed with a broom. Harvest the clean maggots
into a rubber or plastic bucket.
* iv) Wood ash is sprayed on maggots in the bucket to prevent them from
*  v)  Harvesting is done twice daily (morning and afternoon).The
morning field constitutes 73.7% of the daily total.
1m x 1m substrate tank yields 2.5-3.3.5Kg of maggot per day.
6) Factors affecting yield of Maggots
Season of the year
a) Production is low during harmattan and dry weather
b) Temperature >= 30?C
c) Humidity - Production is better in humid conditions
d) Quantity of fly attractants / baits - More the quantity of attractants,
the more number of flies and the greater the number of maggots produced.
e) Predators - Rats at night ; lizards and birds in the day ; ants if not
prevented cover the field of maggots.
f) Operators skill can affect the quantity of maggot produced
Aquaculture : Feeding of fresh maggots to tilapia and catfishes is done
twice daily. (late in the morning and later afternoon). An average of 100
Kg/day of fresh maggot is used for 87 concrete ponds of about 50 m2 and 0.5
m depth each.
Poultry: Fresh maggots are used as basic component of feed for quail,
chicks. Fresh maggots are included in the ration of poultry and guinea
Fertiliser : The spent substrates are used to fertilize directly plants in
the field (ring application in mango, banana, papaw plantation) In farm
yard manure, the spent substrates are incorporated into the compost
8) Preservation of Maggots
By sundrying of steamed maggots and placing in airtight containers.
9) Chemical Composition of maggots
Dry Matter      24,7%
Crude protein  47,5-50,1%
Lipid               19,3%
Cellulose          23,2%
Minerals          9,1%
Ca                   1,5%
P                     1,2%
Mg                  0,3%
K                    1,3%
Na                  4528 ppm
Mn                196,5 ppm
Fe                  425,7 ppm
Cu                 19,7   ppm
Zn                 235,8 ppm
10) Constraints of Production
Problem..........      Solution
Waterlogging of substrates during rains..........          Since the orientation of
the building is impossible after construction, increase the eave or height
of the dwarf wall. Wind breaks are also useful around the building.
Harmattan or dry air which dries the substrate faster...........                Water
substrates frequently. Turn substrates after every harvesting.
Direct Sunlight on substrates..........              Cover the open sided walls with
bamboo mats or dark colored plastic sheets well arranged for ventilation.
Ants (Soldier ants)..........   Maintain water regularly in the canal.
Inspect and repair cracks inside the building
Birds..........           Line traps are used for birds outside. Trap nets are also
placed in the open walls.
Lizards..........        Place trap nets in the open walls.
Rats..........            Place trap nets in the open walls
Human vigilance ..........     The operator should also be vigilant enough to
harvest the maggots earlier before they could pass to the next stage.
for more details contact the author @ or +2348055139622,