Black Soldier Fly Larvae and Chicken Coop

The chicken area is just about complete. All that's missing are the plants and some overhead water sprinklers that will help to keep things green in the dry season. Once the plants and weeds are sufficient then I will start the search to buy some hens that are just about egg laying age. I have no experience with birds and thought older hens would be easier for me to start out with than chicks.

I have been researching ways to nourish my chickens without relying too much on commercial feed. One topic I have seen several times, but ignored completely until now, is Black Soldier Fly Larvae. I watched a few permaculture videos where they utilize this protein source for their birds. I finally decided to look into it and I was surprised to discover that these creatures are thriving in my worm bin.They are actually very interesting bugs. The larvae eat rotting plant and animal matter very quickly and turn it into rich fertilizer. 

The larvae prefer to hatch in a high area, away from the food source. Because of this natural tendency they will migrate up a ramp and fall into a bucket. This makes it easy to harvest and feed to the chickens. I tested this out with one ramp and it worked! The picture above is of a larvae just about ready to go down the shoot and into the bucket. Yesterday I completed the project by building a second ramp on the opposite side of the first and I hung small pieces of cardboard over the edges for the fly to lay her eggs. Larvae is going into the buckets, but I will need to ramp up production to feed my future birds. We have an abundant supply of bananas here and I plan to feed all of the surplus to the larvae.