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Black soldier fly farm

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  • Black soldier fly farm

    Hi all,

    I have seen black soldier fly larvae mentioned in a few threads on here, but would like some info from people who keep/have kept them on the specifics of breeding them, any tips, pros and cons vs worms or maggots, etc.

    I am looking to use them as a chook food. Any advice is appreciated.


  • #2
    Hello Luke,

    Check this out
    I was going to set one up but I only have one turtle to feed and I get plenty out of my worm farms. I believe they are good chook food along with fly maggots and worms though some beg to differ lol Chooks fed worms lay biger eggs to.


    • #3
      Thanks Brian, thats a very good article for me to get an idea of just what they are and how they work. I will try to make a bin and attract some bsf in the next few days.

      What kind of worms are best to feed chooks? Mine don't seem to love the red worms from my worm farm all that much.


      • #4
        Hello Luke. Sorry for the late reply. Have been working long hours like a slave lol. Just Red Wrigglers I suppose or any worms. I heard about a young boy who won a major science award when he discovered it. Have you Red Wrigglers or Tigers? Very similar but the Tigers have stripes and give off a foul substance when handled roughly.

        Had a lady on the Australian Feshwater Turtles Forum ( message me about buying Black Soldier Flies. She has had a trap set up for 6 months and had no luck attracting any so far. She is in Sydney. I have no idea about how you would keep the adults as I just thought they found the food in the trap and started laying.


        • #5
          BSF are awesome if your climate is suitable for them. I think they like hot and humid best. Overwintering them can be a problem, but in an area where they are found wild, they will recolonize your "pod" or other compost or container the next spring. I had them two years in winter they survived in the "pod" (which I buried in loose mulch) and another year they recolonized. Here in N. California the winter is longer and cooler and I don't think they are native....I have to mailorder new ones every spring so I'm debating whether they are worth it. But where they thrive, they rock! They will give you a feed yield from vile stuff that would need prolonged composting to turn a yield from, if ever. Humanure, pet waste, dead animals, even poisonous mushrooms can be thrown to them and they will give you chicken feed in return. Coffee grounds are a favorite....


          • #6
            About a year ago I was chatting with a guy (a missionary type) who was looking for information about chicken tractors and wanted to set up some in Central / East Africa (specifically Uganda). Is the BSF also found in Africa? Seems like an ideal way to get rid of waste and feed the chickens.


            • #7
              Hmm the humanure comment has me thinking - I've been toying with the idea of a humanure system and was going to use the one from Jenkins's Humanure Handbook, but this would be ideal if it works. Maybe a toilet that goes straight into a bsf pod made from a 220L olive barrel I have. I'm guessing it would be similar in terms of making sure to cover the humanure with some carbonaceous material to stop smells? Would they also take urine?

              My climate is almost subtropical so hopefully they will be able to survive the winter - there are no frosts here.

              More research and another project to add to the list


              • #8
                Hi Luke,

                We have been growing solider fly larva for a couple of years. Initially starting by accident, as they took over the worm farm. We purchased a second worm farm and moved as many of the larvae over to it. They are attracted to used coffee grains. And they love fat, meat and carcasses. We also add newspaper to the top like a worm farm to keep it moist.

                The farm hibernates when it cools. Mine has now been asleep now for the last couple of months.

                To harvest, we put a slice of bread under the newspaper and pour milk (expired) on the bread. The next day, they will be all over the bread which makes it easier to pick out and give to the girls. Otherwise i use a sieve to rinse the larvae out of the black wet castings. The black tea is great for the garden - just make sure you water it down, as its way stronger than worm tea.

                Be aware - they really smell bad..... and so does the black tea... but the girls love them and the yokes are huge.

                Regarding the humanure - i don't think they will eat it. They don't eat dung.. and I would think that urine would burn them. but feel free to give it a go, and report back your findings.

                For our manure, we use a compost toilet. Once it sits for a year - we will use it as a fertiliser.

                Hope this helps.



                • #9
                  Thanks for the info 4G's, looks like they will be a warm season thing, may just go with a standard sawdust toilet and compost pile.