system for small livestock farm
I have a small organic heritage livestock farm in central Texas (www.EdensCove.com
). We raise Large Black Hogs and Royal Palm Turkeys. I've got a tub of 1000 grubs and some ideas for what I want to do, I need some guidance and feedback.
My primary purposes for raising black soldier flies is:
1. to manage the manure on our farm
2. repel house flies from the pig areas.
Some secondary puposes that I would not mind taking advantage of are:
1. feed supplement for my turkeys
2. soil improvement for our hog pasture
3. fertilizer for our apple trees
I would like to establish as natural of a system as possible, but I'm handicapped by the free ranging turkeys who will eat the grubs faster than I desire. So, I have an idea that I think might work, but I want some feedback from people who have experience with the life and behaviors of these insects.
The idea is to dig a square hole about 4 inches deep. Build a "top" for the hole to keep the turkeys out of the grubs. The top would be four 1x6 boards and expanded metal on top. The inside of the boards could be lined with card board for laying eggs. Lift the top up to shovel in the manure every day. After a while dig a new hole and move the top to a new location. The eggs would go to the new location with the top. Then bury the undigested manure and let it finish decomposing.
The purpose of doing this in the ground instead of in plastic buckets is to eliminate the need to dump the undigested manure. It would simply get reburied and then finish decomposing and enriching the soil. My understanding is that the grubs will only process about 50 percent of the hog manure.
Any mature grubs that crawl out can be eaten by the turkeys. In addition, the turkeys should scratch up the old locations while looking for grubs. That will speed up the process of decomp.
So, I'd like to hear what problems you foresee with my plan. Will it work? Do I need to make any modifications? Would it be possible to build up a balanced system between the grubs and the turkeys so that there are more grubs than the turkeys could possible eat and then the system would become self-sustaining?
Thanks for any advice or feedback you have to offer.