I live in the SE US, fairly new to raising chickens. Currently only have a few adult birds but have 22 chicks that will be going outside soon. I've got a compost pile inside my fenced chicken area. I get all the fruit and veggie scraps from a local juice bar.
My pile is completely loaded with solider fly larvae, and my adult chickens enjoy scratching around in the pile and eating them. I have noticed that most people have a separate bin setup for raising and collecting soldier flies.
Here's my question:
Is there any harm or potential problems that might come from just continuing to make piles inside my chicken area and letting the solider flies naturally occur in my piles? Is there any additional benefit if I were to make a separate bin for the soldier flies? I don't want to overcomplicate things if I don't have to.
Your compost pile seems to do well raising BSFL so just leave it that way. One reason using bin is for harvesting bigger larvae crawling away to pupate. If you have lots of them, more than the chickens can deplete, then a bin will be unnecessary. Besides, earthworms love the gooey stuff left behind by BSFL. Keeping a pile on ground help building the soil underneath too. I would keep some rocks or logs around the pile though, so the pupae have a safe place to hide and keep the colony going.
I guess the main danger is that the chickens may be so thorough at finding all the grubs, both mature and immature, as to decimate the colony. They also need moisture and shade, especially the small ones, so in scratching everything over and possibly exposing them to the sun more might also be a problem.
You don't need an expensive bought "pod" to raise them in. Any bucket or barrel or other container will do, just tipped up at the right angle, and the mature grubs will crawl up the incline and drop out....perhaps to waiting chickens! Put a drain hole on the bottom corner and a loose lid over the open end to shed excess rain, but allow adults to enter and lay, and you're good to go.
Surfs up space ponies, I'm making gravy without this lumpy, tiny ad: