How to Build a Black Soldier Fly Compost Bin

Building a black soldier fly compost bin will enable you to sustainably eliminate kitchen waste while providing tasty treats for your backyard chicken flock.


 larvae

By creating a black soldier fly farm, you’ll have direct access to protein and fat sources for your chickens to snack on. And with low input in its production, it’s also an affordable way to keep your fowl fed. Once the larvae hatch, they’ll actually help keep pest flies away from the food source.
Photo by Adobe Stock/Max

I’m constantly looking for ways to feed my livestock — chickens, rabbits, and pigs — at a minimal cost. Keeping overhead expenses down on the farm means I make fewer trips to the feed store, and I can pocket more money at the farmers market. But, for me, it’s more than that. It’s about closing the loop by keeping inputs within my farm and reducing waste.

I’ve found several ways to achieve a cost-free, closed-loop system to feed my farm animals. Using local spent brewery grains and picking up older produce from a nearby organic grocery store have lowered my feed costs. I also grow my own duckweed, which is high in protein, as a feed supplement.

Although, I think one of my favorite methods has been taking my kitchen scraps to build compost, which I use to grow black soldier fly larvae. During warmer months, these protein-packed grubs are a constant supply of food for my laying hens that free-range around the farm.



What Are Black Soldier Flies?

Black soldier flies aren’t your typical housefly; they aren’t vectors of disease, and they certainly aren’t pests. That’s because adult black soldier flies don’t have mouthparts to feed on waste, whereas houseflies are attracted to food and can spread illness as they flit between food sources. Instead, the soldier flies, which are more similar to mud daubers in appearance, are attracted to food that’s already beginning to decompose so they can lay eggs on it.



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