One day while turning the compost I noticed that it was teeming with large brown maggots that did not look at all like common housefly larvae. A little research identified them as Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae. A little more reading and I learned that, not surprisingly, chickens love them. Since we compost more than we throw away it’s a free high quality food source for the new birds and will improve the quality of the eggs.
An idea for a self harvesting BSF composter was born. I collected ideas from other websites, YouTube etc. The composter is simply an old 7 gallon bucket with lid and hole in it to allow the females access to lay eggs. Kitchen scraps and a few lawn clippings should provide plenty of food for the larvae.
At the end of the larval stage they naturally crawl up and out looking for a dry place to pupate. I’ll tilt the bucket and leave a hole for them to fall through into a collection jar or even directly into the coop. We’ll see how it works in the coming months!
Here is a picture of a small BSF larva from the composter. They are large and harmless and apparently quite tasty to chickens as judged by the reaction received when I offered a few to the girls!