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Black soldier flies , maggots or what??

 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 709
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I have some questions: first I want to know which method for protein out of thin air is suitable for our climate. We are in a cool mountains region in Australia and it gets down to -5C (5 below freezing) occasionally at night.
I want to breed maggots or black soldier flies or a similar critter in a closed system (we really do have sufficient flies in our house meshes and all).
What is the best/easiest crawly to grow? Will I have chicken protein in winter?

There are some ideas in youtube, this one looks cool to me as it is easy to build, any experiences?
And were do I get the larvae in Australia?
 
Andrew Schreiber
Posts: 208
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
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howdy,

If you have a temperature buffered space, you should be able to grow BSF just fine. SO long as the cold is not prolonged for days or weeks on end. Or, you can build a cold frame or small glasshouse for the insects.

We've grown them in a much colder region, but there are significant problems with maintaining a viable population where they are not native and adequate shelter is not available.

I am in the States, so can't help you with sourcing the critters.

Best of luck,
Andrew
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1331
Location: northern California
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Your climate seems similar to mine, at least in winter lows. A colony of BSF will endure cool weather for quite a long time, provided they are well fed and given some insulation. The grubs will ball up together and generate their own heat. But they will not grow as fast and fewer will "crawl off" as mature prepupae for feed. The other problem is that adults will not hatch out and mate and lay eggs for a new generation until it is proper summer. So you might get some good grub yields in the fall as the weather is cooling, and another in the spring from the overwintered colony, but they will overwinter just maintaining. You would need a warm greenhouse with the bin in there, and let some grubs hatch out and fly around and mate and lay eggs back in the bin for reliable winter production. The other possibility is to breed up extra large colonies during the warm weather and store the excess grubs.....perhaps in cool storage, or perhaps dead and dried? for winter feed. Or switch to red compost worms in the winter.....these don't mind cooler temps.....
 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 709
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Thanks for the answers! If you do not get that much yield on BSF in winter, when the chooks are eating most, then wouldn't it be better breeding maggots or meal worms? I am not sure if there are these nifty setups as for the BSF. Or better breeding two different kind of bugs?
Which setup do you use? I search something which is easy to build and works.
 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 709
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I am about to chase black soldier fly maggots. I don't know if you setup a system, will you get BSF or the simple housefly (thank I have enough of them don't want to breed more of it).
At tghe pet shop were they sell DEAD maggots of bsf the seller suggested to simply breed meal worms - really a good idea (don't want them in the kitchen though).
Two other chicken + duck food ideas: azollae and duckweed (plants but appartently with a lot of protein).
 
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