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Catching insects for feed - turning a problem into a solution

 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I know that in pasture there are tons of flies, at night anything with light attracts swarms of various insects or in many places with large bodies of water mosquitoes can pose a problem. It is possible to turn a problem into a solution, but how and is it worth the effort? I know insects by mass consist of numerous valuable minerals and calories so what if I could manage to create a system where I can catch the insects to freeze and serve to chickens or fish?

There are three catagories of attraction I will brush on.
  • Odor
  • Light
  • Heat and Carbon Dioxide


  • ODOR - The first thing I thought of was a fly trap because of the abundance of flies in any pasture setting. Flies are attracted to the odors and swarm to eat so a simple box system embedded with any rotting byproduct could potentially collect a bunch. Once caught, you just freeze the flies so that you can dump them for your fish or chickens. I found this design that has a lot of potential and requires no electricity. A detailed explanation can be found here starting at 1:15 in the video below.



    LIGHT - A broad spectrum of insects are attracted if not mesmerized by lamps. I found a really cheap video of a light catching system made from loose change parts below. The design should work for more than just stink bugs and if the light-source is bright enough than it will catch more bugs. Problem with this design is that it will catch rain so drill small holes in the bottom.



    HEAT AND CARBON DIOXIDE - This is predominantly for mosquitoes! Carbon dioxide and heat are best produced by flame. I have seen many designs of mosquito magnets. Honestly I am not very happy with the systems out there because they require two sources of energy to maintain them (electricity and propane). If I have enough time I would gladly develop a system that incorporates a Stirling engine that uses the heat to power the fan or a motor that runs off of propane to run the fan. Either way, you simply catch the mosquitoes and freeze them in order to dump the carcasses as feed so that they don't fly away.

     
    tel jetson
    steward
    Posts: 3356
    Location: woodland, washington
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    clever ideas.

    my own temperament leads me toward encouraging the predators of those insects rather than trying to capture them for livestock. I like bats. I like birds. I like frogs. I like lizards. I like dragonflies. I like snakes. I think having those critters around adds complexity and resiliency to the ecology around me.

    I do like chickens and fish, too. and we're on opposite sides of a continent, and I suspect your situation is rather different than mine with regard to insect populations.
     
    Amedean Messan
    pollinator
    Posts: 928
    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Dried flies go for at least 30 dollars a pound on Amazon.......clever indeed!

    http://www.amazon.com/Pacific-Bird-Supply-Co-Bucket/dp/B008EXGBZ8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1362150671&sr=8-3&keywords=dried+flies
     
    Saybian Morgan
    gardener
    Posts: 582
    Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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    Get out! only 6 left, oh man!
    I gotta see how many fly's i can catch with my flytrap because a pound of flies is allot. I think between the ducks and the rabbits houses I could maybe collect that every day, now I can feel like a king giving it back to my ducklings.
     
    Amedean Messan
    pollinator
    Posts: 928
    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    On another video a guy using the exact same device caught as many flies in four days. It was just his back yard so imagine an area populated by cattle or pigs. There is a whole lot of money to be made if somebody can connect the dots.
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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