Biopod for feeding chickens

sfchixn

Songster
11 Years
May 30, 2009
105
102
211
Central Coast, California
Hi all,

Biopod - that device you can use to compost kitchen scraps via raising BSF maggots. Then you feed them to your chickens and they love it! Sounds like a win-win to me.

I know this topic has been discussed in the past but I wanted to revive it again. I think its a great option for those who are looking to reduce their feed costs like I am. I'm really interested in trying it for many reasons: saving on feed costs, benefit to hens, composting.

Is anyone using it and does it provide the majority of your chicken feed. Yes, I realize there is supplemental feed to be provided, at least for variety. (Who wants to live on a diet of maggots alone????)

I hear that BSF maggots -- ok let me call them larvae, from here on -- are high in protein and calcium which are 2 most important parts of the layer diet. Supplement with cracked corn and ???

Is anyone here using Biopod (or homemade version of it) and how is it working for you? I am in the process of deciding whether or not to buy one (about $200) or, I suppose, make one for much less than that but not sure how well home-made versions work.

Looking forward to the responses!
 

murdoc rose

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
14
0
22
free rangers always love the compost been, got to be more careful what you throw in there though
 

sfchixn

Songster
11 Years
May 30, 2009
105
102
211
Central Coast, California
Fly larvae that we raise would be fed a kitchen scrap diet. Could be some meat (small amounts.)

Really, does no one (or not many) do this? Or, is there a reason why you don't do it -- other than the possible grossness factor?
 

bookchick

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 9, 2010
20
0
22
Orlando
I have a Biopod and my chickens love the larvae.

I am new to chicken-dom!

I have six 6-week old chicks in an 8-foot tractor/ark (4 black australorps, 1 buff rock, and one rhode island red). They have continual access to a feeder with medicated chick starter. I have not yet decided if I am going to transition them to a grower feed and then a layer feed or just a game/flock grower for the remainder.

The chickens KNOW when we're coming with the grubs and love them. I just dig in to the Biopod and take whatever I can get, both mature and immature larvae are usually in the collection bucket. Due to our very high humidity, the immature ones often find their way up the ramp.
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
78
283
Wisconsin
We don't seem to have them around here. I think they are more common in areas where the winters are not so severe. I would raise them if I could, though. They are a great addition to a chicken's diet, like may insects, larva and worms. It's a natural food for a chicken and they are eating the entire creature, with all the nutrients it contains. When you feed meat, they are only getting the muscle meat and nutrients in that part of the body.

I would plan on using them as a supplement to a complete feed. I don't know what you would need to add to the diet to balance it, besides just corn.
 

hipeatall

Songster
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
1,133
12
176
I've had my eye on the biopod for awhile now... I just haven't gotten one yet - still debating the expense as we already have composters and there are so many things we "need" / not just want. I can imagine I'd get "mauled" by my silly chickens when they saw me coming with a container of grubs... they get so excited they trip me on my walk all the way across the pasture for green treats!
smile.png
I think the biopod rocks and love that flies would be feeding my chickens. I've also read that once you get an established black soldier fly population they keep other flies away - I'm all for that!
 

sierraberri

Hatching
9 Years
Apr 10, 2010
2
0
6
Does anybody use their biopod to digest pet waste? I like the idea of feeding my chickens grubs, but it is okay to feed them grubs that have eaten dog feces??? Sorry for the ick factor.
 

hipeatall

Songster
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
1,133
12
176
Quote:
I guess it's no more disgusting than my dog eating "chicken candies"... thankfully something I was able to break her of... oh, just thinking about it makes my skin crawl!
I don't know about using the biopod for pet wastes... I'd contact them directly to find out if it's something they would recommend.
Man, I really want one of the biopods... of course it's on the list with the rain water collection system I want for the chickens too - oh my!
 

geedub

Songster
11 Years
Jul 5, 2008
113
4
111
Orlando area
sfchixn,

I know more about BSF than I do about chickens, but I've read that up to 25% of a chicken's diet can be BSF. I don't have chickens but I share my place with a few peacocks. Judging from the bird's love of BSF larvae I would assume that they're very good for them, at least as a supplement. If you're unsure about getting a BioPod you might want to try my latest DIY unit which is version 2.1. I continue to test and improve it, but it's reasonably effective. It's a relatively cheap way to find out if you like working with BSF, or for finding out if they're in your area if you're in doubt.

http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/bsf-bucket-composter-version-2-1/

Btw, the "grossness factor" is quickly replaced by the "coolness" factor once you start working with BSF.


sierraberri,

BSF will thrive on dog poop, but it's not something I have much experience with. I shy away from adding feces to my units because I always seem to be digging around in them and it's more pleasant if there's no poo involved. There have been several studies that use BSF to process animal feces and then feed the resulting larvae to animals, but there are conditions. The consensus is that you should not raise larvae on bird feces and then feed those same larvae to birds. Ditto for mammals to mammals, etc. Feeding larvae raised on one type of animal feces to another type of animal is said to be relatively safe, but once again I lack experience with this. In some of the studies I mentioned they feed the larvae back to the same animals that supplied the manure as feed, but they sterilize them first with heat or drying, etc. If you want to experiment with this you can do it cheaply using a DIY unit. Once you know you like working with BSF you have the option of upgrading to the convenience of a BioPod.
 

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