Maggots are **not** Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Tweeza, May 22, 2009.

  1. Tweeza

    Tweeza Songster

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    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    I fear Black Soldier Fly are getting lumped in with those nasty disease carrying flys. Black Soldier Flys don't have mouths for eating. They might drink nectar from flowers but they can't eat or bite so they don't land on nasty things. They only live to reproduce and do it in just a few days then they die. They lay their eggs above a food source that the larvae fall into when they hatch.

    Black Soldier Fly Larvae are nutritious and could possibly a cocci preventative.
    They are also fed to expensive lizards. I would think if they were harmful they wouldn't be fed to reptile pets.

    Here are some excerpts from: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/waste_mgt/smithfield_projects/phase2report05/cd,web%20files/A2.pdf

    POTENTIAL
    FEED VALUE OF LARVAE

    (pg 9) Chicks fed a diet containing dried black soldier fly larvae as the protein supplement (Hale, 1973) gained weight at a rate 96% (n.s.) of that of chicks fed soybean meal plus fat, but they only consumed 93% (P<0.05) as much feed.

    (pg 8) Soldier fly larvae have been fed experimentally to several animal species, with larvae or prepupae used to replace soybean or fish meal in formulated diets. These feeding tests have utilized cockerels (Hale, 1973), pigs (Newton et al., 1977) and catfish and tilapia (Bondari & Sheppard, 1981, Sheppard and Newton 2000). The soldier fly larval meal was a suitable replacement for conventional protein and fat sources. Amino acid profiles reported by Newton et al. (1977) for a mixed age larval population harvested from finishing steer manure, and that for self-harvested prepupae from swine manure during 2003 and analyzed by a commercial laboratory (Table 1). If rendered to obtain oil and protein meal, amino acids levels should be about 40% greater than those shown (Table 1). Essential amino acid levels for such a meal from larvae produced on swine manure should be similar to soybean meal in lysine, lucine, phenylanine, and threonine; higher in methionine, histidine, valine, and tryptophan; and lower in isoleucine and arginine. Additional fractionation of prepupae to remove the chitinous cuticle might also improve the amino acid profile.

    (pg 3) These unmanaged populations eliminated house fly breeding through larval competition and female house flies avoided ovipositing where Hermetia illuscens larvae occurred. Although, the black soldier fly reduced manure residue in such poultry operations, utilizing black soldier fly as a feedstuff harvest was never attempted.
     
  2. geedub

    geedub Songster

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Orlando area
    Hi Tweeza, how's it going? Are enjoying the BSF?
     
  3. suzannaski

    suzannaski Songster

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    May 31, 2009
    Berlin
    Here's my first post ever at this website!
    I was wondering if Black Soldier Flies survive New England winters or if there is a similar species for us yanks. Although, we don't mind the amount of hen/horse manure, because it gets used in the gardens or sold as compost. So the primary purpose of the insects would be as chicken feed, and the secondary would be to reduce the population of house/barn flies.
    I've only had chickens for three- count'em, three- days. I'm learning an awful lot (okay, wicked lot) in a wicked short amount of time. First thing I learned: Husband and mum would rather not have chickens at all. Second thing I learned: My barn, my rules. Just don't come in the house smelling like manure.

    Okay, that aside, if I do find a hardy black soldier fly species for New England, will the larvae make the eggs taste funny? I read that garlic and fish do that, and in the book "Cold Mountain", the main character complained about the taste of the eggs once the hen started eating insects.

    Thanks for all your help! I need it!
     
  4. geedub

    geedub Songster

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Orlando area
    Hi suzannaski,

    I'm not certain that BSF are found in your specific area, but it's possible to culture them. People have attracted wild BSF in Quebec, so latitude isn't the only factor. You can keep a BSF colony active in cold weather by insulating the colony. This April I still had grubs that were laid in October, even though they would have matured in a few weeks in hot weather.

    I don't know of any other similar species of fly with the benefits of BSF (Hermetia illucens).

    BSF will repel and out-compete other fly species in any waste where they're allowed to thrive. The adult BSF don't have any effect on the other species, the BSF grubs deny the other flies a place to lay eggs.

    I don't know about the effect BSF grubs might have on the flavor of chicken eggs, but they've been tested as catfish feed and they had no noticeable effect. I'll bet someone on this forum could give an answer based on personal experience.

    Dried black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) prepupae contain 42% protein and 35% fat (Newton et al. 1977). Live prepupae are 44% dm and are easily dried for long term storage. As a component of a complete diet they have been found to support good growth of chicks (Hale 1973), swine (Newton 1977), rainbow trout (St-Hilaire et al. 2007)) and catfish (Newton et al. 2004). Peer reviewed studies show that prepupae meal can replace at least 25% of the fish meal in a diet with no reduction in gain or feed conversion ratio (FCR) in rainbow trout (St-Hilaire et al. 2007a) or channel catfish (Newton et al. 2004).

    Separation of the prepupae fat and protein would allow for formulation of more balanced diets and produce a meal with over 60% protein. Removal of the chitin would further enhance the protein content and enhance digestibility as well as produce another valuable product. Blind taste tests with tilapia and channel catfish fed diets containing Hermetia larvae indicated no significant difference between those diets and commercial diets (Bondari & Sheppard. 1981).
    SOURCE

    I hope that helps.

    Jerry​
     
  5. Tweeza

    Tweeza Songster

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    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    Quote:Well hey Jerry! I thought that hand looked familiar. I actually missed your post on the 31 and the 1st. Just found them. I've been busy with school. I finally put stuff in my BioPod. I haven't seen any flies about lately but know that that doesn't mean anything.

    How's your Pod doing?
     
  6. geedub

    geedub Songster

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Orlando area
    Tweeza, I cleaned my BioPod out completely a month ago and I'm just now beginning to harvest grubs. I collected one pound of them last Sunday.

    I finally found a good source of wasted produce and I moved the pod close to my pond so I'm adding fish to it pretty often. I'll see if I can get a photo of my colony soon to inspire you. [​IMG]
     

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