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Anyone farming black soldier fly as free chicken food?

 
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sam_uk



Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Anyone farming black soldier fly as free chicken food? Reply with quote

Hi all

I have just found out about Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae, aka Pheonix worms.

For those that don't know they will turn poultry waste and food scraps into self harvesting, high protein grubs!

Intro to BSF
http://www.microponics.net.au/?p=175

In more depth
http://www.esrla.com/brazil/frame.htm

BSF Biology
http://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG369/notes/black_soldier_fly.html

Expensive tub to keep them in
http://thebiopod.com/pages/products.html

Cheap tub to keep them in
http://www.redwormcomposting.com/the-share-board/vermimans-diy-bsfl-bin/

Is anyone else using them? Do they smell?

I am particularly interested to know about how long the breeding season is here in the UK?


Thanks Sam
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 6946
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not farming them, but there's hundreds of them in my compost heap...
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SunnyJim



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 2915

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to after reading that. It would save me a fortune in chicken feed.
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"Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs" (Lao Tzu V.i).
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 6946
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone farming black soldier fly as free chicken food? Reply with quote

sam_uk wrote:
Do they smell?


No.


Quote:

I am particularly interested to know about how long the breeding season is here in the UK?


The adults are around between March and October.
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CountingDown



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 447
Location: Adrift in the UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're looking at getting a biopod - to use them as fish food for our aquaponics.

Have seen lots of Aquaponics guys make home-made harvesters because of the price of the biopod, however the conclusion seems to be that the biopod is actually pretty good in comparison.

BSF do seem to be a great answer to turning waste food into high-grade protein. I'll let you know how we go.
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JohnB



Joined: 22 May 2006
Posts: 6467
Location: Beautiful sunny West Wales!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone on the Permaculture UK Forum linked to this old topic, so I've put a link to the discussion in case anyone is still interested.
http://www.permacultureforum.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=1478
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bealers



Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 80
Location: Shropshire / Wrexham borders

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Andrew the biopod looks interesting. I couldn't see a UK supplier on their site. How much are they going for?
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bealers



Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 80
Location: Shropshire / Wrexham borders

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread.

I've just spent the last hour following most of the links and reading the comments on the respective blog posts. The conclusion I've come to is that it seems to be a bit more fiddly and less efficient with a DIY system but that the commercial version - Biopod seemingly having nailed this - is rather expensive.

What's not clear is how one harvests the compost (not the tea). I can only assume that this will be full of the non-mature larvae too? What about cooked food waste, do they eat that? We don't have pigs (yet) so there's always the stuff our chickens won't eat that's a problem to dispose of for the obvious reasons.
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CountingDown



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 447
Location: Adrift in the UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question on how to harvest the compost - I'll have to ask some of the Aquaponics guys I know.

They will go for cooked scraps too - meat, fish, anything, so very very useful for that.

Here's a demo video of them in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-zAbzRx29I (not for watching on a full stomach)
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