Maggots or larvae for that matter

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kellykungfu, May 15, 2009.

  1. kellykungfu

    kellykungfu Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Hi All,

    I was pretty interested in reading about the Biopod system used to grow black soldier fly larvae.

    My question, is how are you suppose to know if your area has them before ordering a bunch from the web and then you happen to introduce a new fly to your area? I happen to live in the San Francisco bay area and don't quite remember seeing a wasp looking thing that didn't bite.

    Well, curiosity got the best of me and I took an old ham that I had in the fridge and some leftover raw squid (I use it as bait for crabbing), mixed that with some pine shavings from my brooder and put it all in a bucket.

    The strange thing is that the first week, there was no flys at all. I thought maybe its the pine shavings or even the highly salted ham.

    Well this is the second week and I took a look at it and eweeee. There were maggots galore! They were about 1/2 inch long or less and man was there a bunch. They certainly don't look like the black soldier larvae that were longer and fatter.

    I have some chicks that are about four weeks old. How can I know these maggots are safe for them to eat? The black soldier fly larvae are suppose to be pretty clean as they have secrete some sort of acid before eating their food. Does the common maggot like these do the same?

    Thanks in advance and God bless.

    -kelly
     
  2. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Put the maggots out where the chicks can see them and watch them disappear. Free range chickens eat them whenever they can find them. Not known the hurt the chickens that I know of. I take all the trimings from my butchering and fishing to my runs. They never last long enough to get any maggots on them.
     
  3. Lumenos

    Lumenos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    San Gabriel Valley
    Hi, I'm trying that experiment also. Yesterday I set out a few buckets to attract the elusive black soldier fly. One has got animal products, the other has vegetable stuff. I think the bait food you are using is likely to attract house/blow flies who will colonize before soldier flies. Some foods that are recommended are wet dog food, hog-feed, coffee grinds, and rotting vegetables. It typically takes a long time. I put some stinky cheese and few small liver pieces in the animal bucket. I expect I'm going to get nothing but house/blow fly maggots there, because there were many on it and no BSFL eggs.

    It is recommended to make "egg traps" that the females like to lay their eggs in. Here are the instructions: Three layers of cardboard, 2.5 x 5 cm blocks, smaller size cardboard is preferred; three flutes per centimeter. Tape two to 5 cm above the wet feed. use more water in the feed to discourage egg laying in the feed.

    I've have seen a few black solder flies and their pupae in this area, but I'll probably have to buy them. I only checked a few links but the Worm Man has some good prices on "phoenix worms". "Phoenix worm" is nothing but a trade mark term for black soldier fly larvae, by the people at phoenix worm dot com. The Worm Man also has some "soldier grubs" (currently out of stock) which are cheaper. I'm guessing these are the same thing. It seems there may be many dissatisfied customers from looking on the Worm Man's little forum, so I'm reluctant to buy from there.

    Quote:I plan to feed whatever I can to muscovies, the BSFL are for putrid waste and manure. For the duck manure, I want to see if I can't use BSFL first, thermophilic composting 2nd (to sanitize it), and do the final processing with red worms. BSFL are not known to transmit any pathogens but earthworms can transmit many. This is why I think it might work in that order.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  4. ktrion

    ktrion New Egg

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    Jul 28, 2008
    I'm also in the Bay Area and looking at the BioPod--Would love to hear if anyone actually has one and how they like it. I know my chickens love grubs.
     
  5. kellykungfu

    kellykungfu Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Yups, I think the squid was what the maggots went after first. Now, they are eating the ham. Doesn't look like they are eating the pine shavings yet. Maybe once the squid and ham are totally gone they will go for the chicken poop and the pine shavings.

    I'm wondering, since it appears that these are maggots from regular common black flys if they have some sort of diseases. Well, not that I'm planning to, but couldn't they be boiled for a few minutes to kill off any germs and then frozen to kill off any other parasites to be used in the future?

    Thanks,
    kelly
     
  6. Tweeza

    Tweeza Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    Glad to hear there is some interest in Black Soldier Fly Larvae! I have a BioPod and love it. I haven't gotten mine and running yet this year, I'm a full time college student and have not had the energy to put into it. I did however empty it and wash it today since I'm on a very short break.

    I like the BioPod because it's engineered specifically for BSFL production. It has a groove built in that the larvae crawl up when they're ready to pupate or what ever they do to become adults. It's at this stage that they become "clean" before this time they're in the muck and I wouldn't touch them. Anyway, they crawl out of the muck and fall into a bucket. I think they die if they don't have a way to get out of the muck before pupating into an adult.

    The eggs, if memory serve me right, take about two weeks to hatch into like tiny larvae or it takes that long to finally see them. They eggs look like yellow clusters. I did not see any adult soldier flys in my area until I got the BioPod. I knew they were around only after I found the larvae growing in my new compost barrel.

    I might add that they don't eat cellulose. When I put things in like cantalope rinds there'd be paper thin skin left over. It is amazing how much they'll consume. They really do leave little behind. I would recommend, from experience, if you have any raw meat to cook it first before feeding it to the larvae. They'll eat it no problem but they don't eat the really tough thread like connective tissue. Cooking it will destroy this tissue and they can eat it all then.

    I think I got my Pod in July and it was maybe 3/4 full. I stopped putting stuff in maybe early Jan. I thought they were dead (long story) but they weren't. I still got a few at a time and then a couple of large "out comings" in Feb/March.

    Quote:Kelly, I'm not sure what you mean?
     
  7. kellykungfu

    kellykungfu Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    I thought regular house flys have some sort of germ. So like when they land on food thats been sitting around and flys have been around or on it, your not suppose to eat it. Not too sure what exactly what you might get if you eat it, or if its just the thought of a fly landing and doing what it does on food.

    If they do have some sort of germ, then wouldn't boiling and or freezing the maggots/larvae kill whatever germ it is and make it safe for the chickens to eat?

    Heres a new question, if a chick or full grown chicken eat a lot of live maggots/larvae, would there be a chance that the maggots can eat their way out of the chick/chicken?

    -kelly
     
  8. Tweeza

    Tweeza Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    Quote:BSF (Black Soldier Fly) is a fly in name only. They only live for a few days as adults and their main goal is to reproduce. As adults they don't eat but will drink nectur from flowers. They don't have a mouth to bite so they are completely safe even though they look like a wasp and when they buzz by your head can give you a sense for the need to duck. When they crawl out of the muck they expell from their bodies what ever they've been eating and they have a natural antibiotic about them and they no longer eat either as their goal at this point is to find a nice place in the dirt to pupate into adulthood. I have no problems picking them up after they've crawled out of the muck, the prepupae stage.

    My chickens love them and would eat themselves silly if they could! I usually only give them the prepupae stage but have given them, without any ill-effects, the larvae when they've crawled out of the muck to escape the heat. They tolerate heat well but not excessive. When this happens I give the chickens a few and throw the rest back into the muck and cool them off.
     
  9. Lumenos

    Lumenos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    San Gabriel Valley
    Kelly, house flies and blow flies carry many, many infections to humans, chicken, and most other pets and livestock (but chicken are the only edible birds that can get worms from house flies). Anything these flies are walking around on, carries a risk of infection. Here is a beautiful chart of worm parasites of poultry. It shows you the intermediate hosts, etc:

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/htm/bc/tpou05.htm

    I've already killed my maggot zoo. You are going to have flies not maggots, pretty quick. I think it is a matter of a few days. It is an environmental health risk because they go from people's food, to poop, to cat food... they barf and defecate on food before they slurp it up. If you got chickens you could pour boiling water on the maggots and feed them after it cools off. Be prepared for a maggot stampede. They climb pretty fast on wet surfaces. I would put it in the sink with hot water running and the garbage disposal running, so they don't come flying out in a few days. If you really want that crap stinking up your freezer, I guess you could strain it. There is a risk of botulism which can kill your birds, but I would imagine a store bought ham would be less likely to have a botulism infection. It would be safer to cook it first. A thorough cooking will reduce botulism toxin and kill any pathogens.

    Here are some human pathogens carried by house flies:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housefly
    "[Houseflies] are capable of carrying over 100 pathogens, such as typhoid, cholera, Salmonella, bacillary dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax, ophthalmia, and PARASITIC WORMS.

    Housefly as a vector of disease
    Mechanical transmission of organisms on its hairs, mouthparts, vomitus and feces:
    parasitic diseases: Cysts of protozoa e.g. Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and eggs of helminths e.g.:Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuros trichura, Haemenolypes nana, Enterobius vermicularis.
    bacterial diseases: Typhoid, cholera, dysentery, pyogenic cocci...etc. House flies have been demonstrated to be vectors of Campylobacter and E. coli O157:H7 using PCR [6]. House flies can be monitored for bacterial pathogens using filter paper spot cards and PCR [7]
    Viruses: Enteroviruses: Poliomyelitis, infective hepatitis (A & E)..etc"

    Blow flies carry too many diseases, to post here, but you get the point.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blow-fly#Disease

    If the animal area looks clean, the only infection I would worry about for adult chickens, is roundworm eggs because you don't know they are there, they are the hardest pathogen to kill, and they can build up in the soil and remain there for usually one to three years (but sometimes as long as ten years). One infected animal will lay out millions of eggs in their feces. By the way, earthworms are another major carrier as you can see from the chart. Killing roundworm eggs, chemically isn't practical. It takes iodine, rubbing alcohol, or more expensive stuff. You can't kill roundworm eggs with bleach but it makes them less sticky so they can be rinsed off. Thorough cooking or heating will kill them like any pathogen besides prions. The Humanure Handbook has some exact statistics, but as I remember if you can get compost to 120 degrees F, you can sanitize manure from all pathogens, in a matter of days. At lower temps it just takes longer. Note, you cannot compost live maggots, they will crawl out. [​IMG]

    About BSFL, I remembered that the administrator here, has gotten them in his compost, so you should have a colony near San Fran. The thing that really attracts the females is the scent given off by the BSFL and the "tea" produced when they eat everything down to a liquid. Secondly, BSFL have a "scent signal" that repels house/blow fly. (House flies probably just think those BSFL stink. [​IMG] ) A BSFL colony would not be sanitary with house/blow flies crawling all over the place, so this is an essential advantage of BSFL. BSFL are perfect in so many ways except that they do require some effort to obtain. It is very difficult to breed them in captivity, but there is a good chance you can attract the females with the cardboard egg traps and a colony wafting their favorite scent. In order for this to be practical as poultry food, you need to have an abundance of something to feed the BSFL, that CANNOT be fed to poultry. Otherwise you may as well feed the food to poultry.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  10. Lumenos

    Lumenos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    San Gabriel Valley
    I wrote "t-u-r-d" and the obscenity filter changed it to "poop". [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010

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