If you want to feed insects
to your chickens, black soldier fly larvae are probably the easiest and
cheapest option. Unlike mealworms, you won't need to buy
storebought food for the insects, and you won't need to buy pheremones
every year like you would for Japanese
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What are black soldier
fly larvae? The little grubs are the larval stage of a flying
insect that is naturally found in U.S. zones 7 to 10 (and maybe a
little beyond that --- we're in zone 6 and I've found them in my
garden.) The adults look a bit like miniscule wasps, but they
don't sting. The larvae look like dark, flat grubs.
I first saw black
soldier fly larvae in my outdoors worm bin when I added too much wet,
high nitrogen waste at once. The adult black soldier fly lays its
eggs in rotting fruits and vegetables, manure, or meat scraps, and
within two weeks the eggs have hatched and turned into mature
larvae. Then the larvae crawl out of the feed so that they can
pupate in the ground.
If you want to go the
easy route, you can buy a special bin (the Bio-Pod) for $180 which will
make your black soldier fly operation completely painless. The
bin is just a spot to put your rotting fruits and vegetables, with a
ramp that allows the larvae to crawl out into a collection
container. All you have to do is add food waste then take the
larvae to the chickens once a day.
We don't want to pony up
that much cash, so we plan to try to build our own bin this
out this article for information on what a good bin looks like. Meanwhile, consider
making one of our homemade chicken
waterers to round
out your chickens' healthy diet with clean water.