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Black Soldier Fly setup  RSS feed

 
                                  
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After reading Murray Hallam's (do a search for Murray Hallam's aquaponics) article about black soldier flies I decided to build my own compost harvesting unit.  I build a wooden stand to hold a 6 gallon bucket with a screw lid (the type that swimming pool chlorine comes in) at 30 degrees.  I then put my kitchen compost including meat into the bucket and added a fish head.  Within a few days I had an abundance of black soldier fly larva falling out into a catch pan that the chickens love.  the larva don't carry disease nor to they ever eat again in their lives.  They don't like you, your pets or your house but they are extremely good for your chickens.  Best composter I have ever had.  If anyone is interested I can take a few pictures and drawings of what I built.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Sounds like a nice, simple set-up.  Pics would be very appreciated!
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 659
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Yes, pictures, please!!!  Do they work all year around, even in winter?  How long has this been working for you?  I assume there is a rotting smell?  And no house flies?
 
                        
Posts: 66
Location: San Diego
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You tube has several good videos about how to build your own soldier fly unit. They're great. When I butcher rabbits they consume all of the ofal in only a week or so. The larvae purge themselves of all food in their system before they emerge from the bucket so they are free of any bacteria from the culture when they emerge. An odd thing about soldier fly is that they hatch with no mouth parts. They don't eat after hatching so they don't bother you or your food. Their only purpose is to find a mate and lay their eggs. They die immediately after that.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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some nice looking instructions for a DIY system and pics from the GardenPool folks in Phoenix:

http://gardenpool.org/?p=704
 
Steven Baxter
Posts: 258
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K.B. wrote:
some nice looking instructions for a DIY system and pics from the GardenPool folks in Phoenix:

http://gardenpool.org/?p=704


I don't understand why the larva want to crawl up the gutter or out of holes in the bucket form? Why do they not just stay in and hatch inside of the compost/slop.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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maybe looking for soil to burrow down in to?  Not sure what the motivation is, but it's handy for the chickens!
 
john giroux
Posts: 149
Location: Cumming, GA
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I started a worm compost box last year.  It has since turned into a soldier fly larva box.  I had to move it away from the house, i had a ton of the fies in the basement.  Now it is a daily gathering spot for the local crows.  I onlu wish i could have some chickens...stupid hoa.  Anyway, they make quick work of all my families kitchen waste.
 
                        
Posts: 66
Location: San Diego
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oracle wrote:
I don't understand why the larva want to crawl up the gutter or out of holes in the bucket form? Why do they not just stay in and hatch inside of the compost/slop.


Fascinating critters. They have to burrow into the soil to pupate and hatch. When they are ready to crawl out of the bucket they first purge themselves of any food in their digestive system and then crawl toward a light source to emerge. Their mouth parts change into a sort of shovel arrangement to help them dig into the soil. Once dug in they pupate and form a hard shell. This is the form in which they are sold in pet stores as "Phoenix Worms" to feed to reptiles and fish. If they are prevented from digging in they will form the pupal stage in the catch bucket so long as there is something like bran for them to hide in. Chickens will eagerly consume them in either the grub stage or the pupal stage.
 
                        
Posts: 66
Location: San Diego
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K.B. wrote:
some nice looking instructions for a DIY system and pics from the GardenPool folks in Phoenix:

http://gardenpool.org/?p=704

I like that unit. It's easier to make than the more complicated one on you tube and drops them right in front of the chickens. If you are selling them to pet stores though, the one on you tube is more efficient at gathering them.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Here's my BSF Maggotarium:



Instructions for making it from here:  http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/bsf-bucket-composter-version-2-1/
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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i love my BSF larvae. they eat all the things i don't want to deal with for reasons of nasty Putrification.

meat scraps, no problem
dog poop, no problem
dead animals, no problem
rotten moldy leftovers from 2 months ago, no problem!

and the chickens that eat BSF taste better and have better tastier fat. the eggs are better and they produce more of them. i bet ducks would love them too.
 
            
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Do they show up to this waste naturally, everywhere?  Anybody ever used it to compost pet waste?
 
            
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Just noticed that you mentioned pet waste, but anything wrong with cat feces/urine?
 
Jack Taylor
Posts: 5
Location: Pickens, SC
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Fish love BSF also.
 
Brian Bales
Posts: 90
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BSF are an amazing little bug. If you plan to raise poultry they are indespensable. I'd say they have major potential for a permaculture business too. Composting organic waste, selling compost, raising chickens or other poultry and selling BSF larva all out of one operation.
 
                        
Posts: 66
Location: San Diego
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Several municipalities already have start up programs that are showing good results on breaking down sewage, including human waste, into useful products. There is an oportunity her e for small start up businesses to get a foot in the door of what some day may be really big business. This lady is doing just that.
http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20111106/NJNEWS/311070015/Green-Waste-Technologies-in-Plainfield-a-biotech-start-up-processes-fly-larvae-into-commercial-products
 
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