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Black soldierfly and humanure and chickens

 
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I get BSF turning up in my basic humanure 5-gallon-bucket toilet, whether i want them or not. Although of course I do want them.

In an easy world, when the poo bucket is sufficiently heaving with soldierfly, I would just empty the whole thing into the chicken pen and start filling it again. I assume this would introduce pathogens into the chickens, whom I eat (eggs and meat).

What if I collect them as they leave the humanure bucket? This is a little awkward as the bucket is nicely plumbed in now, but could be done.

Basically, what is the least I can get away with to ensure that these wonderful poo-fueled soldierfly larvae can be put to good use and turned into eggs/chicken meat for us to consume.

*There are different people contributing to the humanure bucket all the time as people stay for a few weeks and move on.
 
pollinator
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Very hard question to answer.

To reduce the risk of carrying pathogens into chickens:

I would secure my fresh bucket so that BSF can not get in to lay eggs.
Develop another staging area for the poo to compost, still not letting BSF
Finally an open compost where BSF can go bizerk and lay eggs.
 
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I would not collect the larvae from the humanure and give them to the chickens. That is certainly a disease vector. I am not overly fastidious, but anything that has been in recent physical contact with raw humanure shouldn’t be fed to animals that will be consumed or put on plants that will be consumed.
 
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As Jennifer brought up, non composted humanure is a high risk disease problem, you should not play chicken with an 18 wheeler when your on a motorcycle is the picture I get in my head on this one.
I very much like the suggestions Gurkan makes, those will reduce risk of infection/ disease contraction and his ideas give you great control.

If you have so many Soldier flies that they are laying eggs in your humanure bucket, give them a nice vegetable scraps bucket to lay their eggs in so the larvae will be safe to feed to your chickens.
The pathogens that humanure can harbor will infect chickens, thus giving you a group of birds that can only create compost for you, nothing from them can be used for food safely.
Save the chickens, secure the humanure honey pail and grow soldier fly larve in a separate, safe environment as chicken food treats.

Redhawk
 
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So if your humanure first went through a methane digester, would that render the poop pathogen-free enough, or would other stages be necessary to produce chicken-safe BSFL?

-CK
 
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I would not do any of what you are doing, most people do not realize the risk associated with human waste, both urine and poo.  since you have  visitors  that is  even more risky.  composting  muman waste is ok, but needs to be away from everything else and  never used for any type of food plants neither garden  or trees.  
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Chris Kott wrote:So if your humanure first went through a methane digester, would that render the poop pathogen-free enough, or would other stages be necessary to produce chicken-safe BSFL?

-CK

That is going to depend upon the maximum temperature reached and duration of that temperature. Pathogens are killed off at 170 f and that temp needs to be held for a minimum of 1 hour to be fully safe.

Humanure that has been properly heated is perfectly fine for use in vegetable gardens since all the pathogenic organisms, including bacteria, will have been destroyed.
The Chinese have been doing this for several thousand years and they perfected their methods and used them not only in rice fields but in most of their vegetable growing fields, and they still do.

Redhawk
 
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BSF secrete a natural anti-bacterial substance. Wild birds have eaten latrine fly larvae (BSF) since the beginning without any recorded spreading of disease.
Chickens will eat dog, cat, hog, cattle, horse, etc, etc poo all day, I've personally never seen them get sick from that practise.

I've raised BSF for 10 years now, but I don't have a lab for pathogenic testing. Here's what I found online from researches that doo.

Quoting http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/2008/06/13/bsf-not-vectors-human-pathogens/

"SOURCE

The amazing digestive system of BSF larvae
In contrast to spreading disease there is evidence that the presence of BSF larvae can reduce pathogens in waste material.

Bacteriological interactions associated with manure digestion by maggots are favorable. Maggots are competitors with bacteria for nutrients and often reduce bacterial numbers greatly, or eliminated them altogether (Beard and Sands, 1973; Sherman, 2000). Maggots may consume and digest microorganisms, and produce antibacterial and/or fungicidal compounds (Landi, 1960; Hoffmann and Hetru, 1992; Levashina et al., 1995 and Landon et al., 1997). As maggots reduce pathogens in manure they may make it safer for organic vegetable production.

From the same article:

Flies that have been used experimentally to process manure include house flies (Musca domestica), face flies (Musca autumnalis), blow flies (usually Sarcophaga sp.) and the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens). Except for the black soldier fly (Furman et al. 1959), all of these are considered pests as adults due to their disease vector potential, behavior and preferred habitats.

Preliminary studies with black soldier fly larvae indicated a reduction of pathogens in an artificial medium or manure innoculated with larvae. Numerous studies using dried, rendered and fresh maggots as animal feed have revealed no health problems resulting from this practice. Preliminary bacterial culturing of self-collected soldier fly prepupae from a recent swine trial revealed no pathogens"

We may have to rethink the unsanitary and destructive use of septic tanks and wastwater treatment systems... they do spread disease.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Brent, the issue isn't about the larvae but about what happens if a human eats the animal or eggs of the animal that ate the larvae.
All the research papers I've read don't get to that point in their study, they stop at the animal that eats the insect larvae and they hold their investigations to the gut system.
If you know of some published articles that go extensively into the human consumption of the animals that eat the larvae, please share, I would love to read them. Thanks. Redhawk
 
Brent Jmiller
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Unfortunately, most of the well funded studies were done on what chemical is best to eradicate BSF.
However, since outhouses were more common than flush toilets around farms and gardens up until our wasteful practise of using fresh water through indoor plumbing over only last 100 yrs., our  fore-father's chickens free-ranged near the outhouses, day in and day out. You would think there would have been some notice of the ill health of those fowl, yes?
I've never heard of any problems with outhouse-perimeter-scavenging chickens, or any like-habited fowl. (my grandparents were still allowing it in the 60's)
Maybe its more a problem with our psyche, and mis-education?
Just a thought.
I'll keep researching, but I was never convinced chickens were clean animals to begin with.
Nasty habits them. Tasty though.
 
Brent Jmiller
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SIDE NOTE
The only 2 things that have ever made my BSFL ill, were discarded GMO cracked corn chicken feed, and cooked chicken from the local "chain" grocery's deli.
Is that irony?
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Brent,

What concerns me about that line of reasoning is that many people suffered and died from diseases spread due to lack of sanitation up until about 100-150 yrs ago in the US and UK. And in fact, my dad says that my grandparents’ chickens were in fact infected with salmonella due to contact with human waste (blackwater drain field) and had to be destroyed. I compost humanure myself, but I would very much not feed anything that has been crawling around in the uncomposted stuff to my chickens. I don’t worry about them poking around in cow poop, for instance, but human waste is obviously prone to contain pathogens that can infect humans, especially if guests are using the system.
 
Brent Jmiller
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Hmmm
The septic thing kinda supports my point earlier about our mis-handlings of "waste".

This is just a copy-paste of the 1st 2 returns from a search engine using "pathogens in cow manure":
Pathogens in Manure - Texas A&M University
Search domain lshs.tamu.edu/docs/lshs/end-notes/uc davis pathogens in manure-2636453403/uc davis pathogens in manure.pdflshs.tamu.edu/docs/lshs/end-notes/uc davis pathogens in manure-2636453403/uc davis pathogens in manure.pdf
Pathogen in Manure 1 Pathogens in Manure John H. Kirk, DVM, MPVM Extension Veterinarian School of Veterinary Medicine University of California Davis Tulare, CA Many potential pathogens for livestock as well as humans can be found in manure of both livestock and poultry. These pathogens include bacteria, protozoan and viruses (Table 1).
Diseases Found in Cow Manure | Garden Guides
Search domain www.gardenguides.com/99768-diseases-found-cow-manure.htmlhttps://www.gardenguides.com/99768-diseases-found-cow-manure.html
Cow manure may harbor diseases such as e. coli O157, listeriosis, salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis and mad cow disease. These diseases are fecal to oral in transmission and may be passed to humans if vegetables from the garden are not properly washed.

So why do we think only humanure is nasty?

BTW, I don't waste my BSFL on chickens.
BSFL have the abilty to reclaim 90% of the household waste materials in our landfills, and waste treatment contraptions -  AND divert all the food waste currently headed to the landfills now  (which is 2/3rds of the food we produce), if they were allowed to transform it into life-giving soil amendments.
No need to feed them to the chickens. Chickens already consume enough of our beneficial insects as it is. They love eating ladybugs and roaches the same.
ewww, roaches
 
Brent Jmiller
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ANOTHER SIDEBAR

This is an interesting (howbeit confusing) study:

How to start... proper terminology?

"Organic Farming: Is HUMAN EXCRETA a good fertilizer? - Quora
Search domain www.quora.com/Organic-Farming-Is-human-excreta-a-good-fertilizerhttps://www.quora.com/Organic-Farming-Is-HUMAN-EXCRETA-a-good-fertilizer
Except for the fact that human excreta is an excellent source of human pathogens, it's an excellent fertilizer. It has been used around the world since time immemorial and is still used in poor areas in its raw state in the form of night soil. It can, of course, be composted..."

Now, how do we get rid of those pesky pathogens?

SEE ABOVE STUDIES ON BSFL
also sunlight and other insect's digestive processes (earthworm, etc.) nearly eradicate them.

I heard a lecture on the subject a few years back, where it was claimed there are more pathogens on store bought meats than in worm castings. ??
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Brent,

I corrected it in my post—it was not actually a septic system, it was just a straight blackwater drain pipe. There have been no further issues since switching to septic, for what that’s worth.

I agree with you that we do not handle waste in the best manner. I think using drinking water to flush it is unnecessary and wasteful. I do think it’s better than dying of cholera or salmonella and other diarrheal diseases which killed hundreds of thousands of people before modern sanitation practices and which continue to kill all over the world today. I think we can do better, but I do not think that it is helpful to start introducing raw humanure into our food supply.

I don’t think only humanure is nasty. I don’t really think of it as nasty at all—just as a resource which if not handled carefully is a known source of disease which has been a major factor in human mortality throughout history. Generally, the waste products of carnivores/omnivores and animals very similar to humans and capable of transmitting similar diseases (primates, for instance, and arguably pigs), is also treated more cautiously, while herbivore manure is not as much of a concern unless they have been infected by another source. Of course, I wouldn’t dig my hands in cow manure and then pop my fingers in my mouth, nor would I eat a cow that had been grazing in grass spread with raw humanure.

We know beyond a doubt that raw human waste can and often does transmit disease both to chickens and to humans. Larvae which crawl out of a poop bucket have human waste on them. Therefore I do not think it is a good idea to eat them or feed them to animals we are about to eat.
 
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Would dehydrating the BFSL kill the pathogens?  

My understanding is that raw human manure is used to fertilise ag land in many places in Asia.  I don't think it's a good idea, but am I wrong?

Just a disclaimer, I don't think I'd feel comfortable using BFSL that fed on human waste without at least heating them to 170 and probably not even then.  
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Brent,

No, definitely nothing personal! Sorry if I came across sounding too dogmatic.

I like BSF and I like humanure composting, I just think we shouldn’t be too cavalier about the ways we combine them.

I also think we should be extra, extra careful about the things we do and recommend as permaculturists, so as not to give people cause to reject these ideas, which if practiced safely can be so beneficial.

I would think that heating the larvae to a sufficient temp for sufficient time (I think it was 170 degrees for one hour?) should be fine. I don’t know if it would be an efficient use of energy, but maybe for those on a small scale whose chickens don’t have a lot of foraging room and are really trying to optimize nutrient cycles.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Re: raw human waste (“night soil”) as fertilizer, it does cause disease problems, although not nearly as much as dumping it directly into the drinking water, at least.
 
Brent Jmiller
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There is a company in Ohio that sells the BSFL dried for animal feed. Altho, I thought the whole idea was to give the chickens the benefits of eating live insects?

Anyone who practices the superior method of raising chickens, "free range" on a farm, knows they consume alot of raw poo.
Even whatever carnivore poo they can find (did you know chickens are carnivorous?).
Actually omnivores like us.
I've seen chickens eat dead rats, and other chickens too.

However, I'm not advocating eating poo. Don't be like a chicken! Don't eat poo

According to this article, BSFL feed companies are popping up all over...
http://heilufood.com/blog/bsfl-industry

Not just Ohio anymore!
 
Timothy Markus
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I know when I free-ranged my chickens the coyotes, hawks and eagles thought it was a superior method.

I'm not sure how much better live BFSL are compared to dried.  If the drying kills pathogens, I think that may be best.

I've let my chickens eat my rabbit pellets, I have no issue with them rooting through cow pats or other ruminant manure, though I'm not sure about pig manure.  Human manure is a completely different animal, so to speak, one that definitely has human pathogens.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Re: carnivorous chickens: One day I came outside to see what my chickens were kicking up a fuss about, only to see my flock of about 50 birds viciously pecking to death a six-foot rattlesnake. It was a little disconcerting to watch! I have seen them eat many animals, alive and dead, but watching that rattlesnake whip around as they shrieked their war cries and ripped him to pieces was certainly memorable!

 
Brent Jmiller
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Tim,
Have you considered free-ranging with a chicken tractor?
And you may have missed the research findings in the above post 24 about OTHER (cow etc.) animal manure. Nasty stuff.
Did you kiss yo momma wit da same lips dat ate dem eggs??? lawdy lawd
 
Timothy Markus
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Brent Jmiller wrote:
Have you considered free-ranging with a chicken tractor?



I think we have different definitions of 'free-ranging'.
 
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Chris Kott wrote:So if your humanure first went through a methane digester, would that render the poop pathogen-free enough, or would other stages be necessary to produce chicken-safe BSFL?

-CK



I have checked this out extensively and it kills all pathogens.

Even with direct application to the soil, I'm not convinced that the pathogens make it to the fruit or vegetables. When we hear about ecoli outbreaks, it seems that it's always from manure splash onto low growing things like lettuce. But I don't know if those pathogens have ever been shown to make it into apples or oranges, when the sewage is applied to the soil.

Does anyone know of a study that shows those pathogens travel through the tree and into the fruit?

I've eaten quite a few bananas that I know were fed raw sewage. Maybe I was lucky and maybe the family doing that have built up an immunity.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Dale, to my knowledge it’s fine to feed fruiting trees, etc. raw sewage in terms of the fruit being safe, as long as nothing gets splashed on it. Of course there are secondary issues like runoff, but I have never heard of pathogens making their way through the tree and into the fruit.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Brent Jmiller wrote:And you may have missed the research findings in the above post 24 about OTHER (cow etc.) animal manure. Nasty stuff.
Did you kiss yo momma wit da same lips dat ate dem eggs??? lawdy lawd



It’s not that other manure doesn’t contain anything nasty. It’s basically the same principle as a needle stick—if you got stuck by a dirty needle, you’d rather that needle have been stuck first in, say, your pet cat than in another human being, because you are more likely to encounter a bloodborne pathogen that can infect you in the blood of another human being than in that of a cat, although you can certainly catch some things from the cat as well. If the needle was from a chimpanzee, you would be more worried. If it had been stuck in an iguana, you would be less worried. Some pathogens cross the species barrier, but many do not, or do not do so very efficiently, or are unlikely to occur in certain populations. For instance, a herd of cattle that have lived healthily and happily in the same pasture for years are less likely to have been exposed to salmonella and to excrete it in their waste than a human guest who stopped for fried chicken on their way into town. If you look at the historical and epidemiological records, there have been and currently are millions upon millions of cases of human-human and human-animal-human disease transmission due to improper disposal of human waste. There has never to my knowledge been a similar epidemic due to, say, coyote scat consumed by free ranging chickens. There have been issues with farm animal manure, but on nowhere near the same scale, and often it turns out that the disease originated in the human population (often spread through, you guessed it, sewage) and the animals were only a vector.

Humanure is uniquely dangerous to humans because a greater proportion of the pathogens it contains are more likely to be specialized to infect other humans, not because it is more than usually germ-ridden or icky.
 
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We encourage soldier fly larvae in our worm bin, and humanure as a separate pile (which we are quite conservative about: 1 year, including some time where the pile heats up, then onto fruit trees or places where we won't harvest edibles for another year).

For avoiding pathogens, I would recommend actively enticing the soldier fly larvae by having a worm bin with scraps close by, and then if you want to be extra careful, wait a couple of generations before feeding BSF larvae to chickens. My BSF population were healthy enough to be a source of a whole new gene line for a protein project, which is attempting to breed BSF at a large scale for animal feed.

I am perhaps a little too relaxed about potential pathogens, but it's not entirely irrational. The evidence is in favour of using humanure after the 1 year period of composting is complete. At the same time, I don't doubt that there are disease vectors (flies) moving between our compost pile and the rest of our farm. So it's also a process of weighting the probability of something really bad being reproduced and transmitted in our ecology, versus trying to create really good healthy ecology, abundance, and actual food in innovative ways that produce more closed cycles of nutrients. It may be that we've just been lucky, but in general 1) making sure the soil on the entire farm is neither too wet (sometimes an issue with ducks) nor too dry, and covered with straw where chickens or ducks are around, and that carbon and nitrogen are generally balanced in the various composting systems, i think (anecdotally, but the microbiome research seems to back this up) our microbiomes are very healthy (we're constantly exposed to the full range of bacteria on the farm), and our chickens are also extremely healthy. While this doesn't mean our risk is zero, it does seem like a reasonable approach to me.
 
Brent Jmiller
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Yeah, what Jo said.
Well stated.
And I might add... We might do well to trust Natural Design. Chickens eat poo and we eat them after.
There is no evidence pathogens can pass through a plants root system into the fruit.
So I would not eat root crops planted in manure, or eat meat that has been externally exposed to manure.
Hopefully we will get past our PooPhobia, and get on with regenerating life.
 
Chris Kott
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Well that's a lot of shit to wade through.

First, pigs are disease vectors, no question; it's their presence, driven along in front of Spanish conquistadors, that kept the disease environment thriving despite a lack of hosts (the Spanish were immune, and the Natives mostly died, with less than 10% left to spread disease over suddenly empty land).

That was genocide of a sort, but as terrible as Virgin Field epidemics are, the knowledge of disease transmission was essentially nonexistent leading up to and for a long while after the Columbian exchange. We have a hard time containing disease outbreaks today; they didn't even have the intellectual currency and vocabulary, never mind the tools.

Just a subtle reminder: this isn't the Cider Press, so we have to be very careful skirting around topics such as debatable pathogenicity and making judgements on history based on today's morality and a lot of hindsight.

So to continue with what Dale said, if methanogenesis in a properly designed methane digester kills all other pathogens, it should then be safe to pass the processed humanure on to BSFLs, which can then be fed live to chickens, or if we're really paranoid about pathogenicity, frozen and then dried in a solar dessicator above 170 degrees fahrenheit for over an hour; I would then pass what remains after the BSFLs to my worms, which love BSFL leavings, but not their fresh enzymes.

After passing through two unrelated species of decomposer, as well as being digested by methanogenic bacteria, I think I would feel safe topdressing my garden with the resultant solids. I would, perhaps, topdress that with a mushroom slurry, but that's just being cautious.

-CK
 
Chris Kott
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Oh, and the Natives on the ground didn't have superior health. Europeans had lived in a disease-challenged environment for centuries, and for that length of time, their immune systems had been developing. Native americans simply didn't have any defense against the European disease environment, and it was mostly because they weren't pastoralists, living in close proximity to livestock.

It had much less to do with exposure to human feces. That was everywhere, and everyone had some amount of resistance to the pathogenicity of the shit around them. Because we are far less likely to be exposed to the shit of many other people these days than at earlier times in history, we have a lesser immunity to those pathogens typically found in human excreta.

Oh, and one thing I have to stress, because nobody mentioned it above that I saw, is that the fresh urine of a healthy human is sterile and completely free of pathogens. It happens to be really great pathogen food, though, so if you combine them, feces become more dangerous, pathogenically speaking. But urine is more than safe; it's liquid gold for nitrogen-starved plants, and as long as the donor eats a complete and healthy diet, it is also a source of micronutrients usually lacking from the soil.

-CK
 
Dale Hodgins
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I think that using methane digestion is an alternative to soldier fly production. Sugars are converted to gas, proteins become nitrates and I wouldn't expect the effluent to be nutritious for the flies. Also, it's a liquid effluent so nowhere to lay eggs.
 
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Is it converted to liquid, or does it need a certain solid to liquid ratio to work properly? And would dewatering it with a wadded paper (used bunny litter) filter that was then composted, work?

I guess that if the effluent is ready for spreading, though, I could just pour it on my compost, or on my beds. If BSFL like it, that's where they'd get it, and my chickens would free-range. Or I would compost in their mobile run.

-CK
 
Dale Hodgins
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Chris Kott wrote:Is it converted to liquid, or does it need a certain solid to liquid ratio to work properly?

-CK



It's a bit of both. The systems must have a certain amount of water to work properly, and all the organic materials break down into a gooey mess that is more liquid than solid. I've fermented buckets of shit along with vegetable wase from the kitchen. After a couple months in the bucket, a fairly solid carrot flows like liquid. When systems are working very well, the hydrogen and carbon portions are gasified, and sludge high in minerals is left behind.

Hundreds of Millions of people in China and India utilize biogas. They do it for the energy which is mostly cooking gas. When I look at the cost of most septic systems, it's amazing that we don't do it in North America in order to avoid having to put a system in the ground. Of course these systems make more and more sense as you move toward the equator, since they perform best at those temperatures and most places have low enough wages that the labor can be justified on gas value alone. So tropical systems are cheaper to build, cheaper to maintain and they produce gas year round.

But this is a serious deviation from black soldier fly production from shit. If I were really serious about doing that, I would consider putting the shit in a bread box solar cooker, where it would be heated to kill pathogens. People might smell it and think you've opened a McDonald's. Probably best to not cook it. Hot composting accomplishes roughly the same thing.
 
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I'm reading through Joe Jenkins' 4th edition of The Humanure Handbook, which was originally a masters or PhD thesis that turned into a book, so it has dozens of references to proper research carried out recently as well as going back to the late 1800s. Some disease vectors are present after 2-3 years (like ringworm eggs) if just tossed out into normal temp soils, but will be killed off in less than 1 hour if exposed to the temps created by thermophilic bacteria. Several of the research papers documented a measurable amount of harmful bacteria and the like being taken up by plants into the stems and leaves, plus of course root crops. So raw feces around crop plants is not a safe option. The use of sewage biosolids showed worse contamination including heavy metals, while using proper compost showed a drop in those levels, even when using contaminated soil.

Those same compost temps would also kill the BSF larvae, but I'm curious how the BSF are getting into your 5 gallon buckets that have material in them. A cleaned bucket that's in use in the house shouldn't have any flies around it if the proper cover material is being used in sufficient amounts, and if you save up a few buckets to take out at the same time then it's highly recommended to get lids for those buckets which would make them air-tight.

Once you empty the buckets into the compost bin, there should be the existing cover material that is put back in place plus some more fresh material on top of that, blocking access to the flies. And by the next day the fresh material will be heating up to the point that BSF larvae wouldn't survive exposure to it. Even when I was putting out just 1 bucket per week, by the next day the temp was at/over 130F for several days, which is plenty for killing off anything nasty.

I'd also be concerned that if BSF are laying eggs in that material, then other flies could find it as well and they might also be landing on edible parts of your garden plants. So I'd be making sure to cover up the compost to prevent that as well as BSF from getting into it.

Since you have the chickens, you could split up your compost materials a bit and first toss greens straight to the chickens, toss the meats/oils into the BSF bin, and the humanure, cover material, and whatever the chickens don't eat into the compost pile. Or the simpler route is skip the BSF and put it all into the compost pile (minus greens to chickens) which is less hands-on time.
 
Chris Kott
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So I suppose if you don't have any use for biogas, you could just have a 55 gallon holding drum, painted matte black (or coated with a charcoal cob mixture) and sitting in the sun (with a pressure release valve, I'm still leaning towards the methane digester, personally), in a passive-solar designed shack of it's own in temperate environments, that sits for a pre-determined time, like until you need to dump more fresh shit, sitting for way longer than required to kill all pathogens and their eggs.

If it is important to produce BSFL for chicken feed, this would keep the nutritional content of the feces intact while killing the pathogens. A properly designed final stage would probably involve a third barrel with ample BSFL access that gets moved with the chickens, allowing the cooked shit to be eaten by the larvae, who then crawl out holes in the drum looking for a safe place to pupate, but instead finding chickens.

All this moving of feces around has me thinking that an outhouse surrounded by willows, and properly designed for a thermophilic compost would be infinitely preferable. There's no shortage of animal manures for fertiliser where I am, and if I really needed to produce insects for chickens, I would include BSFL, but I would probably also look at interactions with crickets, mealworms, and red worms, and even giant African hissing cockroaches, which couldn't survive outside a tank in my climate, and produce some very interesting growth-boosting proteins, but I could easily feed them all, even in the middle of winter, by dumpster-diving the local grocery store. They'd probably leave the over-packaged organic stuff in the wrapping, so there'd be no guess-work.

And no pathogens, at least from my own feces.

-CK
 
Dale Hodgins
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I think the humanure thing is mostly a problem in dense urban areas. On a farm, the quantity of animal manure is almost always much higher, so that could be used on the food crops. The human stuff could be saved for starting new trees and fertilizing animal fodder.

Edit ... I guess it's pretty obvious that I didn't read what Chris just said. Anyway I have now, and we agree.
 
Joelene Gray
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Thanks everyone for your input.

To be clear: Right now I am just growing this beautiful heaving mass of protein and throwing it on the humanure compost pile. It's not going to the chickens, but it seems like a huge waste of expensive protein. I don't really want to keep them out of the human waste because they break it down so quickly. It's impossible to block them, the only way would be to keep it too dry for their needs.

They outcompete other insects poo-wise so I am not particularly worried about pests.

I think if I want to feed them to chickens I should heat the larvae themselves. I did this in an oven once (not with humanure-fed ones) and I regretted it. Great product but cruel. I will experiment with leaving the bucket in the sun - temps are around 90-100F in the shade anyway so it wouldn't take much to heat it beyond that. If I heat the whole bucket then the waste should be bacteria free as well, shouldn't it?

Thanks for your suggestions.
 
Brent Jmiller
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Chris Kott wrote:Oh, and the Natives on the ground didn't have superior health. -CK



So, a people living in a pristine permaculture environment, didn't have better health than europeans living in filth?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you are saying. Do you mean during the invasion their health waned?

This may be off topic, so I'd like to start a new thread, if you'd care to further this discussion Chris.

I believe improving health to be a foundational goal of permaculture.
 
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When John Smith visited Massachusetts in 1614, he wrote that the land was "so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people ... [that] I would rather live here than any where."

From Charles Mann's book "1491"

While it was documented that native Americans at first contact were robustly healthy, which I think is your point Brent, I also think that Chris just meant something a bit different....healthy regarding the ability to resist diseases (correct me if I misunderstood Chris).  By some estimates 90% of North and South Americans died of old world diseases that they had never before been exposed to.
 
He baked a muffin that stole my car! And this tiny ad:
Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
https://permies.com/wiki/105944/Native-Bee-Guide-Crown-Bees
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