I raised mealworms for lizards but I did not feed them to chickens because I did not think the chickens would eat them before they burrowed and escaped to produce beetles. I have been looking into starting up again but then I saw a comment about BSFL self-sorting for feeding and the flies helping reduce other pest fly populations so I had to know more. Now I am completely convinced that I want to raise these to feed to our chickens since any that develop into adult flies will just spend their 5 to 8 days mating and laying eggs without even eating (no mouth parts so they are only drawn to food sources to lay eggs before they die) so they do not make pests of themselves like most flies. I am sure I have seen these flies in our yard at times but, like so many other people, I thought they were an unusually docile wasp. My husband drinks a pot of coffee a day for his ADHD so I want something that will feed primarily on a waste product that the red wiggler worms can't consume fast enough. There are other free sources for coffee grounds so I can keep up with a large fly population with no cost. The fact that the fly larvae (maggots) eat so much that the worms don't eat and grow so fast makes them an ideal food source, plus they are more nutritious than mealworms without even gutloading them (they actually expel waste material prior to feeding them so no worries when it comes to what they eat before they reach the feeder stage). Then the ease of keeping them and letting them self-sort for feeding makes them hassle free. I live in hardiness zone 8 so they might survive the winter in a grublike state but I am not sure if the adults will survive and lay eggs all winter. The compost creates enough heat for the larvae but the flies do not live in compost since they don't eat (or poop, I assume). I have a glass door oak cabinet outside that I wanted to convert to a sort of greenhouse but never added a heater to maintain the temp in the winter. I have read that the BSF needs natural light and I don't know if the glass will allow enough natural light or if it will block UV light and keep them from thriving. With such a short lifespan it seems I could get them to mate and lay eggs in the cabinet using cardboard (or reusable plastic cardboard) to collect the eggs and transfer them to a rubbermaid trash can with compost and a ramp for self-sorting. There is a drawer in the bottom of the oak unit where I can let some larvae mature into flies while feeding the rest to the chickens and ducks. As the adults die I can sweep them out but I can also release them before they die to increase the wild numbers and drive away other flies. Has anyone tried captive breeding the flies or does everyone just collect eggs from flies in the wild to keep producing more larvae? I want to keep the flies in a closed environment where I can collect more eggs easily and keep a colony going so I could use some advice. The fly houses I have seen for large commercial operations use screen material so I could try putting in screens but my hope is that the glass windows will help keep the temp up even though it is in the shade. I would love to hear from others what works well for them. All the threads I read are so old that I don't know if there is still a group farming BSFL and talking about it for those of us looking into a free protein source for our flock. I also need a source for starting a colony so I will need a bulk supplier of larvae and I have not found anyone in my area (Washigton state) who raises BSFL in order to get some through a purchase or barter situation.