Insect Farming

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by EggresiveAli, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. EggresiveAli

    EggresiveAli Chirping

    Sep 3, 2013
    Hi guys,
    I currently have 3 hens ( I lost the one in my profile pic 3 weeks ago) and I love giving them treats.
    Obviously I don't give them too many, but I've read on here a lot about about Farming mealworms/black soldier fly.

    I live in Scotland, so would the temperature affect breeding rates?
    I'm new to this farming, so basically what do I do?
  2. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Well cooler climates will slow down the activities of your chosen live treats, but I don't think it would curtail it in the least. Of course in the winter, and I suppose you do have some snow, it won't work then. But if you are above 70F or close, I believe it could work for you.

  3. EggresiveAli

    EggresiveAli Chirping

    Sep 3, 2013
    Thanks for the reply! So what do I need to go about doing to get this project underway
  4. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Songster

    Mar 25, 2014
    Adkins Texas
    If you're wanting BSF larvae it could be as easy as getting an open topped crate and making it into a compost bin and then waiting for the flies to show up. That's what happened to us and now I've got thousands of larvae in there.

    The meal worms can be kept indoors in something as simple as an old aquarium which is nice in that you can keep them warm and producing year round.

    A search for black soldier fly or mealworm farming will get you more information than you can read in a week.

  5. InsectivoreCo

    InsectivoreCo In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2014
    I have been raising insects for my birds for a while now, and can shed a little light on the subject.

    I have raised mealworms, but without access to things like cactus they are very difficult to raise without eventually getting grain mites. I have tried time and time again but even if it takes a year or two for them to find me, once they're in there that's a wrap. I have been using Dubia roaches for years and have found them to be the most hardy, prolific breeder that's out there right now.

    Here are some notes on BSF larvae.

    Collecting Black Soldier Fly Larvae - the Insect that harvests itself!!!!

    The Black Soldier Fly is a frequent visitor to compost heaps. Adult flies lack mouthparts, so don't worry about these guys biting. All they can do is fly and mate!
    They are also NOT known to carry or transmit any diseases.

    The female black soldier fly will lay 500 EGGS at a time! in 3 days to 3 weeks, you will start seeing larvae. They are about 1.8 mm long when newly hatched. "The mature larva is about 18 mm long and 6 mm wide, although some individuals may be as long as 27 mm!"

    So you have a good compost heap and you notice lots of soldier flies - what now?

    When you have those initial small larvae, take them with their compost and dump into a rubbermaid or home-made tub of a similar size. (There are many youtube videos of how to make these.)

    When the mature larvae are ready to become flies, they naturally want to go up and out of their compost and into somewhere less damp. By placing ramps on the ends of your tub, the larvae will actually self-harvest - crawl right up those ramps and fall into a bucket. It's quite amazing, actually.

    BSF larvae are sold widely in the reptile industry as "repti-worms". They are super-high in nutrients, and are super-prolific. Animals just love them. Because breeding them in captivity is difficult and requires a solid set-up, most farmers who use this technique only collect wild larvae and rely on another source during the fall and winter months.

    I hope this information was useful!

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