mealworms vs. black soldier fly larva

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ajnChickens, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. ajnChickens

    ajnChickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 15, 2013
    Lakeland, Florida
    I have been researching how to minimize my chicken feed costs and decided on raising mealworms and black soldier fly larva. My main concern is that I do not know how much of each I should allow the chickens to eat to suppliment layer feed. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. uaj0sh

    uaj0sh Out Of The Brooder

    19
    1
    24
    Mar 8, 2012
    I was wondering the same thing, but I don't think you can replace their food with it?

    I'm not not the professional though. I'd love to see pictures of how your growing the worms?

    ~Josh
     
  3. ajnChickens

    ajnChickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Nov 15, 2013
    Lakeland, Florida
    I basically have done the same thing all of the online/youtube videos have shown. I took a large Tupperware container and filled it with oat bran, ground oatmeal and ground cheerios and then just dumped the worms in it. Very easy. Also, I have been putting pieces of potatoes and carrots in there for the worms to "drink" from. I originally purchased 1000 mealworms online. The company shipped 2000 to me after a shipping mishap. Although a small percentage of the worms have died, I have many, many in the stage prior to turning into beetles. I even have about 3 or 4 beetles already. In the next few days, I am expecting 20 -30 beetles capable of reproducing!! Hopefully this system works out. Come spring (March/April here in Florida) I will be making a black soldier fly bin just to have a protein back up in case my mealworms don't work out.

    Since I am getting chickens for my kids and hopefully will be selling the eggs within our neighborhood, I am trying not only to create the perfect tasting egg, but to find ways to minimize the feed costs. I calculate that my cost per dozen of eggs to be at or around $0.80. Hoping to get it down to $0.50 if I can freee range them. We'll see once I get going on the entire project. Any advice would be great!!!!
     
  4. chick-chica

    chick-chica Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    24
    Sep 23, 2014
    So, which is better? Mealworms or black soldier larva?
     
  5. glib

    glib Chillin' With My Peeps

    197
    23
    133
    Dec 8, 2007
    Better for what? With the proper set up, BSF is a lot less work, as they self-harvest. Mealworms have to be picked one by one. and to feed mealworms you still have to buy stuff. for BSF, you could just feed them the poop of every animal and human in the household.
     
  6. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,726
    69
    191
    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    We prefer the black soldier fly larvae. They are abundant in our compost containers! We use galvanized metal trash cans with small air holes drilled into the sides (and a lid covering). No unwanted critters get in. The soldier fly larvae break down all of our kitchen veggie and fruit scraps, as well as chicken manure. -excellent for the compost and the chickens! My flock loves the soldier fly larvae!
     
  7. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    5,227
    295
    288
    May 6, 2010
    Tucson
    My Coop
    I don't think it's a question of which is better, both have their pros and cons. BSF are relatively easy since you don't have to do much to grow them once you have a set up. However, depending on where you live, you may only be able to collect them for a few months a year. Even here in warm southern AZ BSF production is very slow during the winter months. You can raise mealworms and put about as much or as little time into them as you wish and as long as you have a place indoors to keep them warm over winter you can raise them year-round. You do have to buy wheat bran so there is some small expense beyond the container to used to grow them. I'd recommend growing both!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by