Grain Free Pasture Egg Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2017: $6,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2018
Grant Recipient: Grassway Organics
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Charles Self
Grassway Organics

Information Products


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed management, free-range, grazing management, manure management
  • Crop Production: Insects
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development
  • Natural Resources/Environment: wetlands
  • Pest Management: competition
  • Production Systems: dryland farming
  • Soil Management: organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: quality of life

    Proposal summary:


    We imported about $50,000 dollars worth of feed. If we could cut this down even by 50 percent we could make serious profit raising eggs.

    This model can work for all grazing farms if we can do it successfully.

    The other big problem is the waste that is found in our local communities. Talking just waste from grocery stores, we could indicate at least a large portion of methane produced from decaying food. Soldier flys can consume the waste and produce sustainable protein while solving a section of methane produced from thrown out food.

    We have an endless amount of waste from our cows that will be the main food for our soldier fly production.


    With the research grant we would hope to solve the need to import or grow grains to produce eggs. The research can be done with a hands on approach right here on the farm. In one growing season we could easily see if it is feasible to produce soldier fly grubs in a mobile form. The research will also solve how to manage grubs in the hard winters in Wisconsin. This is a great area to see if this could work because if we could do it here we could do it anywhere.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Eliminate the need to import or grow grains to produce eggs by producing soldier fly grubs for the protein needed to sustain egg production while maintaining healthy soil.
    2. Benefit the environment by finding a functional system for replacing grain with black soldier flies in egg-producing hens' diets, and using food waste to feed the flies.
    3. Enable farmers to increase profitability by finding a less expensive feed source for egg-producing hens and help grocery stores reduce expenditures on removal of food waste.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.