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BSF pod design for auto-dispensing in aviary - tips please
http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1119
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Author:  Finchy [ Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  BSF pod design for auto-dispensing in aviary - tips please

Hi

I am new to BSF. Happily, I just caught an adult fly in my kitchen today (and released her outside), which I take to be an excellent omen for getting started...

What I'd like to do is set up a small BSF bin that can be located within my aviary where it will auto-dispense larvae and flies to my small insect eating birds (waxbills and finches). So I'm wondering what design tips you might have for me please? The bin needs to...

- Be smallish - about 40cm
- Be simple to construct
- Look neat enough to be always in view
- Have gaps no larger than 1cm, to prevent entry by birds
- Have a safe method for managing leachate, as it must not run into the aviary environment

Thankfully, other criteria are more flexible than usual:
- If a few immature larvae escape regularly this is actually a good thing, because it's food for the small birds.
- If a few mature larvae escape into the flooring (seed husk and mulch) and pupate there, this is also good because it will supply adult flies as alternative food, else they will become parents for the next BSF generation.
- Only a small number of mature pupae are needed as food for the birds, because mature BSFL are quite large and will only occasionally be eaten.

So all I need is a sustainable population, with occasional escape of all three main developmental stages of BSF! Should be easy, right? Please tell me your best bin design tips for this application...

Thank you :)

Author:  BorealWormer [ Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BSF pod design for auto-dispensing in aviary - tips plea

First, Finchy welcome to our forum :) If you'd like you can introduce yourself here (link).

Second, since you have a wild population of BSF we would love to add your location to our Black Soldier Fly Mapping Project (link). See the Range and Identification section (link) for instructions.

Third I'll try to answer your questions in my next post. Hopefully others will chime in too.

Author:  BorealWormer [ Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BSF pod design for auto-dispensing in aviary - tips plea

Finchy wrote:
... What I'd like to do is set up a small BSF bin that can be located within my aviary
Please give some details about your aviary (size and construction)

Quote:
... where it will auto-dispense larvae and flies to my small insect eating birds (waxbills and finches).
Auto dispensing might not be a problem as the larvae usually migrate away from the feeding area to find a place to pupate. However these are usually the most mature larvae which would have a tougher skin. If your birds will eat these then no problem, if not manual harvesting of the softer white larvae might be required.

If your aviary is a screened cage then the flies will mostly roost on the screen. Will the birds eat all of these leaving none to mate and lay eggs?

Quote:
... The bin needs to...

- Be smallish - about 40cm
- Be simple to construct
- Look neat enough to be always in view
- Have gaps no larger than 1cm, to prevent entry by birds
- Have a safe method for managing leachate, as it must not run into the aviary environment
I don't think any of these are deal breakers. Some sort of collection pan for the leachate should work.

Author:  Finchy [ Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BSF pod design for auto-dispensing in aviary - tips plea

This is the aviary a couple of years ago: https://youtu.be/amktKfqcolg



It's similar now, but with additional weather-proofing, more birds and the plants have grown. The wire is 1cm square mesh.

Author:  BorealWormer [ Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BSF pod design for auto-dispensing in aviary - tips plea

Very nice aviary with lots of room. Since it has a mesh large enough to allow adult BSF to come and go you won't have to worry about cultivating a sustainable population within the confines of the aviary.

You mentioned that you've seen BSFL in your compost pile so establishing a population in your aviary could be as simple as baiting the females to lay eggs. See the Attracting black soldier flies-the basics (link) topic for some ideas.

As for bin ideas there are probably many options. For a start here's a simple design for a hanging pail bin:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bsf-l ... on-under-5

PeteB also has a couple of slanted bucket ideas with drains (link) (link)

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