- Animal Production: feed management, feed rations, manure management, meat product quality/safety
- Energy: byproduct utilization
- Farm Business Management: agricultural finance
- Pest Management: compost extracts
- Production Systems: organic agriculture
- Soil Management: composting
Gamebirds require a high-protein diet (27 - 30%) resulting in a higher feed cost than more conventional poultry species. The higher diet cost coupled with an extended grow-out period and my inability to store larger, bulk quantities of feed result in smaller profit margins for my products.
My current open composting system cannot support increased farm production or be used for wasted grain. As I live in an urban area, pests are a major concern to me and my neighbors. Grain attracts rodents and other pests so I currently compost it in sealed plastic drums, a very slow process. I would like a more accelerated, less wasteful and more ecologically friendly way to utilize wasted feed and other farm wastes like food scraps and rabbit manure. Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) is a potential solution that would allow me to manage the aforementioned waste products in a beneficial and conscientious manner that would increase profit margins and contribute to the nutrition of my animals. BSFL can quickly process my manure and other waste products while at the same time producing a protein-rich larvae that can be fed to poultry. This could also be valuable teaching tool for other small-scale farmers in my area.
- How much of the partridge and coturnix quail diet could be replaced by BSFL while maintaining a quality carcass, and the cost reduction of this replacement.
- How quickly and efficiently can grain and manure waste be composted by BSFL in the central Ohio climate.
- How much spent food and rabbit manure is required to sustain a BSFL feeding regimen at the farm and is it sustainable.
- What are the labor costs associated with the BSFL.