Bsf Larvae Operation Under 5

By grandfatherjwv · Jan 11, 2012 · ·
  1. grandfatherjwv

    To make the item discribed below an automatic feeder, just remove collection cup after construction. This will feed your chickens directly by allowing the larvae drop to the ground.

    Grandfatherjwv's Black Soldier Fly Larvae Operation for under $5.00.

    1. Can buy bucket with lid for under $5.00 at Home Depot.

    2. Find or make a small strip of plastic, metal, or wood approximately 1/4" x 1" x 10" long.

    3. Find 2 to 3 foot of bailing wire.

    4. Cut top off a 2 liter soft drink bottle.

    5. Cut the lid as shown. (the upper horizontal hole allows adult female black soldier flys to locate and enter the bucket)

    6. Make a 1/2" hole approximately 1 1/2" below the center of the bucket bottom located as the bucket is suspended at a 45 degree angle. (this allows maintaining water level maximum easily, and yet keeps compost moist above the water line)

    7. Also, small holes are needed to keep the center partition (small strip of plastic, metal, or wood approximately 1/4" x 1" x 10" long) in place, that is center bottom of the 45 degree positioned bucket) (keep holes above water line)

    8. Use stiff wire for this, as well as, the connection of the holes placed to hold the collection cup (2 liter soft drink bottle) to the bottom lip of the bucket.

    9. A wire placed from center of the bucket handle to the bottom lip of the bucket adjusted to allow the bucket to rest at 45 degrees as it is suspended. (best suspended from 2 points along the bucket handle) ("S" hooks can be used for ease of removal of bucket)







    1. With the bucket in position and the lid off, fill with water (the 1/2" hole will drain any over fill)
    2. With appropriate compost starter, fill to water level. (Black Soldier Fly eat almost anything biological as you will read elsewhere, however, getting started I suggest grain with syrup pour in the mix) (I used chicken scratch) above
    3. Add thin strips or rolls corrugated of cardboard not in but moist compost. (BSF females will lay eggs in the corrugation)near
    4. Replace the lid and let the compost ferment.
    5. Black Soldier Fly females are attracted to the smell and will lay eggs.
    6. Wait a week or so and watch your collection cup.
    7. Add compost as needed, as larvae mature, they self harvest by climbing to the open lip and fall into the collection cup.
    8. Feed your chickens. (Or frogs or turtles or fish...etc. ..etc.)

    NOTES: I placed my bucket under a shade tree. My location is in central Texas. Look closely, the horizontal hole in lid is hard to see. You may choose to add holes for more air flow as my first BSF eggs came from the bucket you see in the background of one of the above pictures; it had more holes.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. WannaBeHillBilly
    "Great Idea, but this article needs improvement"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Sep 6, 2019
    Had to read it twice to understand: So you start a tiny compost in a Homer bucket and the fly larvae harvest themselves… Got that! - More detailed explanations would be helpful.
  2. The Farmers' Daughter
    "Good in theory"
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Sep 2, 2018
    I love the idea of this project.

    I found the way that it was written confusing. Step by step pictures would have helped me. I'd love to try this, but the article honestly isn't going to help me much in figuring out how to do it.
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  3. ronott1
    "Good Article"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 28, 2018
    I love the idea!

    Build pictures would make the article better
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.


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  1. MuddyHillFarm
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  2. geedub
    I think simple systems are great if they fulfill your needs. My thoughts on this design are that it will work fine, but water intrusion seems like an issue. If you hang this in a chicken coop, you solve that problem, but then you don't really have a simple stand-alone BSF unit because you need a coop! That's great if you already have a coop. :) For people who don't have cover to hand it under I will suggest a few simple changes:
    1. Relocate the hole where the larvae exit to below where it is now (with the bucket hanging as shown) - just below the lip of the bucket (on the curved area, high up on the bucket). That will allow most of the rain to flow off of the lid and onto the ground. The exit only needs to be about 1/4 inches high, and it can be a few inches wide. Moving the collection cup under the bucket will help keep it drier.
    2. Replace the ventilation hole with a pvc "T" fitting aligned horizontally, or you could use an elbow fitting (45 or 90º) faced downward.
    3. If you process high moisture waste you will probably have flooding issues which can be fixed with a simple hole at the lowest point and maybe some fibrous material to line the bottom.
    The first DIY composter I published was similar to this simple and elegant design. My most recent composter design is complicated and it was meant to mimic a BioPod for those who wanted one but couldn't/wouldn't spend the money for one. I salute you for sharing a cheap and simple design and it seems like you've been successful in inspiring others to try working with BSF. :)
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  3. Dean W
    It never dawned on me to put it inside the chicken coop tell just now. When I read an above post. Now it'll be time to build one.
    Thanks for taking the time to write this.
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  4. S2man
    Simply brilliant, and brilliantly simple! Most BSF breeders are too complicated, and have kept me away. But I may give it a try with this design.
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  5. binders
    How has this been working for people now that you have had them up for awhile?
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  6. JessRoll
    This worked for me! What I couldn't figure out is where to put the hole and I'm still not sure. At first it was draining too much and my food was drying out but when I was about to give up I found a grub had self-harvested.
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  7. LAFreewayChickens
    I think the center partition is to stop them from circling the bottom of the bucket and climb up the (tilted) wall.
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  8. SillyChicken
    my guess would be to provide something for the worms to crawl against or they would slip back in the bucket. Makes it easier for the worms to crawl out.
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  9. shelpitt
    What is the center partition for?
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  10. Kidd51
    What a great idea! Thanks for posting. I'm going to get a couple made and going for my coops today.
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.

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