If you get the larvae when they have already hatched, then you can get straight to the feeding stage. If you get the BSF started from eggs, then let's briefly see the hatching process together.

Step 1: Incubating the Eggs

To incubate BSF eggs, you can use a mix of chicken feed, pig feed or rice bran with water. The mix ratio 1:1 is good enough. For example, for 1 kilo of feed, mix in 1 kilo (or 1 liter) of water. The recommended moisture is 60-70% to hydrate the larvae & makes food easier to digest. You can mix in some more water depending on the local weather condition or if you see that the feed is too dry.

Put the eggs above the feed source, not directly touching it. Because coming into excess moisture may rot the eggs.

After 4-5 days, the eggs will hatch. The little hatchlings, which may be nearly invisible to the naked eyes at this stage, will crawl out of their nests & fall into the feed we've prepared. It's important at this point to keep the feed from drying out & hardening. Growers have noticed that the drying up issue tends to happen with chicken feed or rice bran. So remember to spray a little water on the feed during this process.

Here you can see the new hatchlings of BSF larvae. They are so tiny.

new-hatchlings-black-soldier-fly-larvae
BSF larvae just hatched

I have a full-detail How to incubate BSF eggs post here if you'd like a look later:

Let's see what to do next after these little guys hatch:


Step 2: After Eggs Hatch

For the first 3-4 days after the hatchlings hatch, they will still be very small. At this point, they will eat the food that we have in the bin for them. You can use soya bean waste, fruits, veggies, kitchen scraps, etc. We can let them enjoy the food there for the next 5 days. On day 4-5 or so, you'll see they grow significantly in size.

It's important at this stage to feed them with good, nutritive food. Keep the food moist but not too wet. Overly wet feed may drown the little larvae. Alternatively, you can start with something easy & fresh like zucchini or carrots. Then, we can boost it into more hardcore mode with fish, meat & other high-protein foods.

It's a bit hard to see but you can see the size difference compared to the newly hatched larvae. These ones are about 2-3 days old:

two-three-day-old-black-soldier-fly-larvae
2- to 3-day-old larvae fed on soybean waste

When they are at this stage, it's a bit difficult to filter out their poop from the feed. It's good to scoop out the poop so the feeding area doesn't turn too hot. Some growers leave them in there & wait till they're a bit older to clean it out.

And next, as your BSF larvae are:

Step 3: Growing Bigger

The time between day 5 and day 10 is when the larvae eat most aggressively. They eat non-stop 24/24 hours a day. After the first 5 days in the feeding box where they hatch, we can then transfer the larvae to another feeding area that suits our needs. This really depends on everyone's purpose of raising the BSF larvae.

Here are some 5-day-old larvae. You can see they've grown quite a lot in size since.

five-day-old-black-soldier-fly-larvae
5-day-old BSF larvae

Let's have a closer look here. The little ones are still cream-like in color. The older ones about 10-15 days old will have a darker brown/charcoal color. This is a sign they are about to go to another stage, which is called the pupae stage.

size-comparison-bsf-larvae-five-day-ten-day-old
Comparison of BSF larvae

At this point, you can freely decide what to do with your BSF larvae. Here are some common uses of BSF larvae & how you can keep raising them to suit your purpose:

Use #1: For Chicken Feed

In the first use case, if you're raising the larvae for chicken feed, then you may care less about the size of each one. Some people harvest the larvae when they're about 5-7 days old to feed little chicks. If you wait longer and feed them more (12-15 days old), the larvae will get bigger in size and weight.

You can feed the larvae with brewery grains, rice bran, barley, oats or whatever feed is available locally. At this point, some growers scoop 5-day-old or 7-day-old larvae out to weigh them to determine the amount of feed needed.

Because we don't worry much about their size for this purpose, you can try a starting 1:1 feeding ratio and increase as your food source supply fits.

For example, for 1 kg/lb of larvae (with initial feeding screened out) you can feed them with 1 kg/lb of soybean meal. The ratio works for any measuring units. Here are some brief numbers.

For 1 kg of larvae you can try feeding them daily with:

  • 2 kg rice bran
  • 3 kg old potatoes
  • 4-5 kg soya bean paste
  • 5 kg brewery grains + cassava

For 60-70 chickens, you can mix 3 kg of larvae with other greens, corn or grains. For chickens about 7-10 days old, we can start feeding them with these larvae so they'll get used to the taste.

It's good to feed baby chicks with smaller-sized larvae. But don't feed too much because the excess protein may cause diarrhea or white pooping. If you notice such condition, stop giving them larvae immediately.

If your raising conditions are good, from 50 grams of BSF eggs, you may get a yield of 200 kilos of larvae. When mixed with other feed components like greens & grains (at 1/3 amount for each component), this amount (200 kilos larvae) is more than enough to feed a flock of 10,000 chickens–considering each one eats about 100-120 grams (or 0.25-0.5 lb) per day.

For more details, I have a post here showing you 'How to feed chickens with Black soldier fly': https://zenyrgarden.com/how-to-feed-chickens-with-black-soldier-fly-larvae/

Alternatively, you can harvest your larvae:

Use #2: To Treat Bio-waste / To Compost

If you use BSF larvae to treat bio-waste, then we can ramp up the feeding ratio more comfortably. Because the bio-waste usually already comes from a free source.

You can try a ratio of 1:10. Indeed, one little larvae can eat up to 10x its weight. So 1 kg/lb of larvae can help you break down 10 kg/lbs of organic waste of garbage very efficiently. It's 1 to 10!

You can measure out 40 grams of 3- or 5-days-old larvae & pour them out on 400 grams (~1 lb) of waste. If you have a big compost box, put in about 166 kilos of old fruits, veggies, meat etc.

This will be enough to feed about 3 kilos of larvae for 3-4 days. Over 2 weeks, we can replace the food 3 times, totaling about half a ton of waste processed (166 kilo x 3 times = ~ half a ton).

With the 2-week-old larvae now, you can decide whatever to do with them. You can feed them live to the fish or further process them into fish food pellets. If you would like to use BSF for fish food pellets, you can make round-shape pellets to make it easy for the fish to swallow. Here is one good recipe:

  • 35% BSF larvae
  • 40% Cornmeal/soybean meal
  • 25% Greens/carrots/cabbage

As doing it this way costs a huge amount of food (10x more) & energy, not a lot of smaller-scale growers will do it this way. But if you have a cheap, free food source for treating bio-waste & having the feed need for your pets, this is a good 2-in-1 solution (feed pet + treat waste).    

To learn more about composting with BSF, you can check out here 'How to compost with Black Soldier Fly': https://zenyrgarden.com/how-to-compost-with-black-soldier-fly-larvae/

If you're looking to keep the BSF colony rolling, you can try use #3 which is:

Use #3: To Produce More Black Soldier Flies

When raising BSF larvae for further reproduction, growers usually feed them with high protein-content food. What they've noticed is that larvae fed with fruits, veggies or grains tend to grow slower & are smaller than those fed with meat or fish. The diet may also affect their strength & resistance. Some weak larvae that have turned black & pupated may die immediately afterwards.

If you're wanting to keep the BSF colony going, set aside some of your larvae for reproduction. For these guys, feed them with some more meat, fish or any high-protein foods. After about 2 weeks of feeding, the larvae will turn dark brown or charcoal & crawl out of the food box.

At this point, we can wait for about 3 weeks for them to fully turn into adult soldier flies. They need a dry, shaded place to dig under as they go through metamorphism. Be sure to give them a nice, shaded area on a dry substrate. Sand, sawdust or coco peat works great for this purpose.

They won't eat much anymore at this point. Because as the cream larvae turn black, they transform their mouth-parts into some sort of a closed hook-shaped structure. This helps them latch onto surfaces to inch out easily. You'll see some black larvae stop wiggling, elongate & just laying still at this point. It's completely normal & this means they're about to pupate.

When the flies get out of the shells, they'll naturally go find a light source. Within a short span of 7-8 days, they need to find a partner to mate. Good light source is the key for mating. It keeps their body temperature warm enough for reproduction & helps the male flies see the female when she pokes her tail out for mating.

After they've mated, the male flies will die. Soon after laying eggs, the female will also die. To get the eggs, you can prepare some wood stacks or cardboard pieces. Use an attractant that's smelly to attract the mother flies. When you get the eggs, you can begin incubating & start the whole cycle again.

Finally, there's one more little thing you can do with your BSF larvae:

Use #4: For Manure Management

If you combine raising BSF with raising chickens, quails or ducks, these little guys can help you process the manure into usable proteins & fats. The best thing of all is that they'll get it done in 1-2 hours and for a span of 2 weeks. It helps eliminate the odor very fast so there's no more stinky odor around the chicken coop.

Get Started Raising BSF!

So we've explored a few key points to keep in mind when raising black soldier fly larvae. It's not terribly difficult, but there are things that could go wrong. Be flexible & try experimenting with your local environment & food sources. Let us know if there's anything unclear or any ideas you'd like to share. Best of luck getting your colony rolling!

Credits:

Responses to Readers' Questions

Hi. Is there a way one can have a short course on this as a qualification please. If you have places where one can study it that'll be great. Enoch

--> Hi, I'm grateful thanks for your question. May I ask, and am wondering, where are you intending to present the qualification to (assuming once it's done and one finishes the training/course). I think a course should be possible and available, but one question I have is whether the place or organisation accepts this certification. Could you please check and ask about the requirements if possible? I'll be looking and asking around. If there is any course of such type, I'll be sure to inform you promptly on here. Thank you for asking & See you again next time!

Would you mind letting us know how exectly 1 how much kg kitchen scrab and chicken manure should be added as feed for 100g bsf egg per day.please let me know in details 2 how much

--> Hi, thanks for your question. May I ask, are you planning to add all the 100g bsf egg into one container or into separate containers? What is the space available? From what a fellow farmer (Martin Tenywa from Ento Organic Farm) has shared with me is: They usually put 25-30 grams of eggs in a 3 ft x 8 ft (1 m by 2.5 m) feeding area. The feed amount can be about 100kg waste spread over 8-10 feeding days (about 10kg a day). Composition of the feed can be 80% fruits & veggies and 20% dry material like bran (to avoid the feeding area getting runny/mucky or sludge-like). The larvae yield could be about 30kg larvae after raising.

I have a little table of estimation here if you'd like a look:

Grams of egg Daily food Total food 15 days Larvae yield
10 3-4kg 50kg 20kg
20 4-6kg 60-90kg 40kg

So, starting with 100g I think you could divide them roughly into 3 portions, each about 33 gram. For each portion, you could consider starting with about 10kg feed per day. In short, for 100g egg you could consider adding 30-40kg feed a day. It is a bit better to let the eggs hatch into tiny hatchlings, then add them to the feed house. This way, you'll minimize the risk of other creatures eating up the eggs (when left out and exposed) and also the creatures eating up the food before the bsf. You can lay the eggs in bran or starter feed.

Please note though: people weigh to divide feed per larvae amount more often when turn 5-day-old (5DOL). In other cases, I've seen farmers put around 5 grams of eggs in a 1 meter square growing space. For about 1.3kg 7-day-old larvae, they put about 50kg soybean waste (enough for 3-4 days till pre-pupae stage).

You can read more information here:

Food Amount for 1 KG of BSF Larvae & The Larvae Yield
To get about 1 kg of black soldier fly larvae, the food input can be around 3-5 kg daily. The amount varies depending on how many larvae are in one place, what type of food is available for the season, or more practically the cost of the food at the

So, depending on the amount of waste, the bsf egg amount and the space you have available you may space it out accordingly. This is to prevent the heat issue raising in a crowded space.

I hope this makes sense.

Any more questions, please let us know. I hope this helps!

To read more about how to incubate bsf eggs, you can check out here:

How to Incubate Black Soldier Fly Eggs
Incubating BSF eggs is in general a simple & easy process. The thing to keep in mind is not to over-complicate things. There’s only a few heads-ups to note. Let’s check the process out now. The first step we can begin with is: Step 1: Prepare the Hatching Substrate The hatching

KỂ TỪ SAU KHI NHẬN HỘP TRỨNG VÀ ĐỂ 4 NGÀY CHO TRỨNG NỞ 1.Cho tôi hỏi là cách tính Ấu Trùng 1 ngày tuổi như thế nào? Tôi hiểu theo 2 cách: a. Ấu trùng 1 ngày tuổi là thời điểm lấy ra khỏi hộp và cho vào khay ủ. b. Ngay thời điểm chấm dứt quá trình ủ trong khay nhỏ 60x40x19cm và thả vào khay 1 mét vuông.

2. Ủ trong khay nhỏ bao nhiêu ngày thì cho ra khay lớn ? Có phải là 5 ngày tuổi không? Nếu thế thì để trả lời cho câu 1 thì cách 'a' là đúng phải không ?

3.Tôi thấy 1 vài bài viết bạn có nhắc tới: - Với 25gr trứng nuôi trên diện tích 1m vuông nền - Với 25gr trứng ủ trong 1 khay 60x40x19. - Với 1 khay 60x40x19 cần phối trộn số kg thức ăn( 13kg 1,5l men= 14kg ) đó với 150gr ấu trùng 5 ngày tuổi. NẾU NUÔI BẰNG NỀN THÌ có nghĩa là với 25gr trứng đó sau khi ủ 5 ngày trong khay 60x40x19 mình đổ hết vào 1m vuông nền , có phải là quá chật chội cho 1m vuông nền không? NẾU NUÔI BẰNG KHAY có nghĩa là với 25gr trứng đó sau khi ủ 5 ngày trong khay 60x40x19, thì cứ 1 khay, mình phối trộn 14kg thức ăn với 150gr ấu trùng 5 ngày tuổi. Tính như thế nào là hợp lý để ra 150gr?

4.Với 25gr trứng, tính tổng khối lượng thức ăn trong 12 ngày ( 3 lần ăn ) nuôi trên nền 1m vuông là tầm 50kg. Vậy để nuôi trên 1 khay 60x40x19cm trong 12 ngày thì có cần chia ra số lần ăn như nuôi nền hay là cho ăn liên tục mỗi ngày tầm 1,2kg bảo đảm độ dày nhỏ hơn 5cm (sẽ khá mất thời gian nếu làm 1 mình)?

--> Hi bạn, thường nếu nuôi nền thì mình cho khoảng 3-5 gram trứng thôi ah bạn, đó là cho diện tích 1m vuông ô nuôi. Còn nuôi khay thì khoảng 1 gram trứng thôi ah.

Nếu tính một con ấu trùng 5 ngày tuổi nặng trung bình khoảng 0,0012 gram, thì theo một số cách nuôi, họ sẽ cho khoảng 40000 con (tức khoảng 48 gram) vào 1m vuông. Nuôi khay 60x40x19cm, thì khoảng 10000 con (nghĩa là khoảng 12 gram) thôi ah.

Mình cũng thấy có chỗ họ cho nhiều hơn chừng 150 gram sâu 5 ngày tuổi nuôi vào khay như trên. Lượng thức ăn cũng sẽ tầm 12-15kg cho quá trình nuôi 12 ngày trong khay. Trong một khay nuôi như vậy sẽ ra tầm 1,5-2kg sâu (hay 1 gram trứng = 1,5-2 kg sâu). Nếu nuôi một mình, bạn có thể chia ra 3 lần cho sâu ăn. Mỗi lần như vậy khoảng 4-5 kg một khay. Lần 1 là lúc ủ sâu cho đến 5 ngày tuổi. Lần 2 là lúc cho sâu 5 ngày tuổi ra khay lớn hoặc ra khay cùng kích cỡ có thức ăn khác bổ dưỡng hơn. Lần 3 là lúc sâu được 8 ngày tuổi. Nuôi như vậy đến ngày thứ 13 là có thể thu hoạch. Bạn chăm vô từ từ thì thức ăn sẽ không bị dày quá và lúc sâu ăn lượng thức ăn đó cũng sẽ sụt xuống dần.

Như ở trên mình ghi trong bài này, bạn kia nuôi khoảng 25-30 gram trứng cho ô khoảng 1x2,5m là nuôi dày á bạn. Vì bạn ấy trừ hao lượng hao hụt trứng nở/không nở nữa ah. Bỏ vô luôn như vậy đỡ cực thêm vài công đoạn nhưng cũng có hao chút đỉnh vài phần. Ở đó họ cũng là nơi sản xuất trứng nên mình nghĩ có lẽ họ ko phải lo về nguồn cung quá nhiều. Khi trước mình có xem mấy chỗ nuôi 10-15 gram trứng 1m vuông. Như vậy là hơi nhiều và chật chội đó bạn! Nuôi vậy dễ bị nóng và khiến sâu con bò ra khỏi ô. Nên 3-5 gram là ổn thôi nha bạn. Để mình kiểm tra lại chỗ nào mình ghi 25 gram, chắc là nhầm đó bạn, có để mình sửa lại cho hợp lý. Bạn có nhớ bài nào chỉ giúp giùm mình.

Các bước nuôi thông thường họ làm các công đoạn như sau:

  • Ấp trứng: cho trứng nở thành sâu con. Họ để những thanh gỗ trứng phía trên các khay 60x40x19cm cho sâu con rớt xuống. Trong khay đó có 'thức ăn dặm' như cám gà con trộn với nước (70% độ ẩm). Đây là nơi tập trung cho sâu con không bò lung tung (vì nó rất nhỏ và khó thấy để bắt lại). Sâu con ở trong khay ăn khoảng 5 ngày (giai đoạn gọi là cho vào ủ cũng được). Đến lúc này, họ gọi nó là sâu 5 ngày tuổi hay viết tắt là 5DOL.
  • 5DOL: với những con sâu 5DOL, có chỗ họ bắt ra rồi đếm mẫu. Ví dụ, đếm xem có bao nhiêu con trong mẫu ~2gram sâu (có lẫn với cám gà con). Rồi tính ước chừng cho số còn lại nặng bao nhiêu. Từ đây, bạn có thể cho sâu tiếp tục vào nuôi trong khay 60x40x19cm với thức ăn khác bổ dưỡng hơn hay bỏ ra ô nuôi lớn hơn. Bước này có lẽ hơi mất công. Mấy chỗ nuôi kỹ càng họ làm vậy. Nhưng mà nếu bạn không cân đếm, bạn có thể xem xét ước chừng dựa trên số bình quân trên (~48gram cho 1m vuông hay ~12gram cho 1 khay). Nếu lấy sâu 5 ngày tuổi ra nuôi khay 60x40x19cm với thức ăn khác, thì từ đây bạn chỉ cần cho ăn 2 lần (từ lúc ra khay lúc 5 ngày tuổi và lúc 8 ngày tuổi). Lượng thức ăn 4-5 kg 1 khay vào ngày cho ăn.

Mình nghĩ cách hiểu 'a' về Ấu Trùng 1 ngày tuổi của bạn là có thể hợp lý. Tức là, có thể bắt đầu tính từ lúc trứng nở. Nếu ko tính trường hợp trứng nở giữa đường, thì từ lúc lấy ra khỏi hộp và cho vào ủ là điểm khởi đầu (theo mình) là chấp nhận được để bắt đầu tính tuổi bắt đầu nuôi cho nó. Khi bạn bắt đầu sx trứng hay có được trứng tươi (chưa nở) thì việc tính toán sắp xếp cho đồng lứa cho các lứa sâu sẽ dễ dàng hơn (để ko bị một con già quá một con non quá trong một lứa nuôi). Bạn có thể tham khảo thêm cách làm ở đây:

How To Keep Black Soldier Fly Larvae Population Uniform
To keep a BSF colony uniform, you can build a similar sort of hatchling rack. It has 6 levels, each carrying one hatchling container. On top are the eggies. What you can do is move the top 6th level hatchling container down and replace it with a new one every

Cảm ơn bạn! Có câu hỏi gì thêm cứ nhắn lại trên page nha. Mình sẽ trả lời nhanh nhất có thể. Hy vọng đã giải đáp được một số thắc mắc của bạn.

Tài liệu tham khảo thêm:

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