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Kitchen Waste Into Chicken Feed: The Black Soldier Fly Workshop

Green Earth Permaculture and The Renewable Republic


Black Soldier Flies have an adult lifespan of one week.
During this brief time they must find a mate, reproduce, and
lay eggs. Their only purpose is literally to mate and further
the species. They dont even have mouthparts or stingers,
so they cannot eat, bite, annoy, or spread disease.
The BSF larvae that result are voracious eaters. They
consume nearly everything thrown their way: meat, fat,
dairy wastes--even animal manure, bio-converting 20% of
the waste into yet more BSF larvae.
Each day, they can consume 3lbs of kitchen waste per
square foot of feeding area. BSF larvae consume wastes so
quickly in fact, there just isnt time for nasty smells or harmful
bacteria such as E.coli to develop.
In Nature, female BSF lay their eggs in crevices of tree bark,
they also lay eggs in cardboard, which can be used in a BSF
bin to coax them into laying eggs above the waste so when
they hatch the larvae drop onto the waste. Larval eggs hatch
in about 105 days. In optimal conditions of 80-100 degrees F,
they go through five developmental stages in about 2 weeks
to reach full maturity.
This developmental period can extend out to several months
though--if conditions are not right--which is an adaptive
strategy that allows them to endure difficult conditions. The
mature pupae are very tough and can survive under conditions of extreme oxygen
deprivation.
The nutritional content of BSF larvae is remarkable
------------------->>
They can be fed to chickens, ducks, pigs, fish, cats, dogs;
and yes, even to humans during difficult times. In their
effect on food production,
BSF have the
beneficial
only to

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42% crude
protein
35% fat
5% calcium
potential to be
insects second
honeybees.

Kitchen Waste Into Chicken Feed: The Black Soldier Fly Workshop
Green Earth Permaculture and The Renewable Republic

How To Raise and Harvest BSF Larvae/


Many permaculture people are raising BSF larvae in special bins that allow for an
easy and clean harvesting strategy. When the larvae are ready to pupate, their
mouthparts have already changed into special climbing limbs. BSF larvae by
nature seek a cool, dry place to pupate, and they climb out of the waste pile with
their new limbs.
By farming BSF larvae in bins that contain a slanted board or a way for them to
climb out when theyre ready to do their metamorphosis thing, we harness their
natural instinct to climb out of the decomposing waste to a drier spot.
Many BSF bin designs are out there. They can be as simple as filling a bucket or
trashcan with kitchen waste, waiting for native BSFs to lay eggs in it, and youve
got your BSF mother colony. Thing is, harvesting them from a bucket or trashcan
is a messy job, not to mention smelly.
An open source design Ive found the most useful so
far is known as the Bug Barracks, created by Tarvus.
The one well be building today is based on this
design. ------------------------>>
It includes slanted boards at each end, and a mesh
bottom that allows it to drip excess liquids to
maintain a relatively consistent humidity.
How It Works/
As the larvae ready to pupate climb the slanted
endboards, two additional wood pieces direct them
toward a two-inch hole near the top center of the end
board.

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Kitchen Waste Into Chicken Feed: The Black Soldier Fly Workshop
Green Earth Permaculture and The Renewable Republic
They fall through the hole into a collection bucket where we can gather and feed
them to our chickens, ducks or fish. Once the BSF bin is well populated with BSF
larvae, the collection buckets will have more larvae in them everyday.

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Kitchen Waste Into Chicken Feed: The Black Soldier Fly Workshop
Green Earth Permaculture and The Renewable Republic

GreenEarthPermaculture.com
Help Heal Your Planet, Study Permaculture