Black Soldier Fly Farming

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.

The composter is simply a bucket with lid into which kitchen waste goes.

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!

A small larva from the composter.


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