FREE shipping within the contiguous US! FREE shipping within the contiguous US!
Home / The Grubs Times

The Grubs Times

Why Black Soldier Fly Larvae Is a Great Treat for Hens?

A group of backyard hens eating some clucking good black soldier fly treats
When it comes to feeding backyard chickens, it's important to provide them with a balanced diet that meets all their nutritional needs. A good diet should include a variety of protein sources, and one new option that has gained popularity in recent years is Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL). Prior to BSFL, mealworms were the most frequently used insect protein treat but since the farming of BSFL became more widespread and its benefits over mealworms more well-known, the BSFL have become the grubs of choice for many backyard chicken keepers. Not only are they a great source of protein, but there are many other benefits to feeding BSFL to your hens. In this article, we'll explore some of the reasons why BSFL is a great treat for hens.

(1) High Protein Content
One of the most significant benefits of feeding BSFL to your hens is their high protein content. Insects, in general, are incredibly rich in protein, and BSFL are no exception. They contain over 40% protein, making them an excellent source of amino acids for your chickens. Amino acids are essential for the growth and maintenance of muscles, skin, feathers, and other tissues in your chickens' bodies.

(2) Easy to Digest
Unlike other protein sources, such as meat or fish, BSFL are easy for your hens to digest. Their digestive systems are designed to process insects and other small creatures, making BSFL a natural and straightforward addition to their diet. As a result, they can absorb the nutrients in BSFL more efficiently, allowing for optimal growth and development.

(3) High in Calcium
BSFL are also an excellent source of calcium, an essential mineral that is crucial for the development and maintenance of strong bones and eggshells. Calcium is particularly important for hens as they lay eggs regularly, and their bodies require a constant supply of this mineral.

(4) Gut health
Specific amino acids found in the BSFL can also help promote good gut health in chickens. The amino acids in BSFL are easily digestible, and the larvae also contain beneficial bacteria that can help improve digestion and reduce the risk of digestive issues like diarrhea.

(5) Natural immune booster
Black soldier fly larvae contain natural prebiotics, which are substances that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. By feeding hens black soldier fly larvae, backyard chicken owners can improve gut health, which can lead to better nutrient absorption, disease resistance, and overall health.

(6) Low odor
Unlike other protein sources, such as fishmeal, BSFL has a low odor. This can be a benefit for backyard chicken owners who may be sensitive to strong smells or who live in urban areas where keeping odors to a minimum is important.

(7) Variety in Diet
Finally, feeding your hens a diet that includes BSFL can provide variety in their diet. While it's important to provide your hens with a balanced and nutritious diet, adding new and different foods can help to keep them happy and healthy. BSFL are an excellent way to provide your hens with a new and exciting treat that they are sure to love.

In conclusion, black soldier fly larvae are an excellent addition to your hens' diet. They are high in protein, easy to digest, low in fat, and high in calcium. They also help to reduce waste, are environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and provide variety to the hens' diet. All of this leads to improved egg production, better egg quality, and better overall health. Feeding your hens BSFL will help to keep your hens healthy, happy, and productive.

Wondering How to Name Your Chickens?

Choosing the best name for your backyard chicken

Raising chickens in your backyard is an enjoyable hobby that provides fresh eggs and hours of entertainment. Part of the fun of having chickens is getting to know their personalities and choosing unique names for each one. However, naming your chickens can be a daunting task, especially if you have a large flock. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect names for your feathered friends.

Get to Know Your Chickens
Before you start naming your chickens, it's important to get to know them individually. Observe their behavior, personalities, and physical characteristics. You can also spend time interacting with them to get a sense of their unique quirks and personalities.

Consider Their Appearance
Chickens come in many different breeds, each with its own distinct appearance. Some chickens have striking colors, unique patterns, or fluffy feathers. Consider using their physical appearance as inspiration for their names. For example, you could name a black and white chicken "Oreo" or a chicken with curly feathers "Frizzle."

Think About Their Breed
Some chicken breeds have unique characteristics that can inspire their names. For example, Leghorn chickens are known for their white feathers and are often named after characters from classic literature, such as "Alice" or "Moby." Silkies, on the other hand, are known for their fluffy feathers and could be named after soft and cuddly things, like "Cotton" or "Marshmallow."

Consider Their Personality
Chickens have distinct personalities and can develop unique quirks and habits. Observe your chickens to see if they have any behaviors or traits that could inspire their names. For example, if you have a chicken that is always trying to escape its pen, you could name it "Houdini" or "Escape."

Use Inspiration from Pop Culture
If you're struggling to come up with a name, consider using inspiration from pop culture. You could name your chickens after characters from your favorite TV shows, movies, or books. For example, you could name a chicken after a character from "Game of Thrones" or "Harry Potter."

Keep it Simple
When it comes to naming your chickens, sometimes the simplest names are the best. Stick with names that are easy to pronounce and remember. You could even consider naming your chickens after their physical characteristics, like "Red" or "Spots."

Don't Duplicate Names
If you have a large flock, it can be tempting to reuse names. However, this can become confusing and make it harder to keep track of each chicken. Make sure to choose unique names for each chicken.

Get Creative with Themes
If you want to take your chicken naming game to the next level, consider creating a theme for your flock. You could choose a theme based on your favorite movies, books, or TV shows, or you could use a specific color or pattern as inspiration for your names. For example, you could name all your chickens after characters from "The Simpsons" or choose names that all start with the letter "B."

Involve Your Family and Friends
Naming your chickens can be a fun activity to involve your family and friends in. You can ask for their suggestions or even create a contest to see who can come up with the best names.

Have Fun
Most importantly, remember to have fun when naming your chickens. It's a chance to be creative and express your personality. Don't take it too seriously and enjoy the process of getting to know your chickens and giving them unique names.

In conclusion, naming your backyard chickens can be a fun and creative way to show your love and affection for them. Whether you choose personality-based names, food-based names, color-based names, historic names, pop culture names, traditional names, or unique names, the most important thing is that the names you choose reflect your chickens' personalities and make them feel special and loved. So go ahead and have fun naming your backyard chickens!

What Are the Advantages of Using Insects as a Protein Source?

A scoop of insect protein powder

As the world population continues to grow, the demand for food is increasing exponentially. This is putting pressure on the planet's resources, including land, water, and energy. Therefore, it is important to explore alternative protein sources that can meet the increasing demand for food while minimizing the environmental impact. One such alternative protein source is insects. In this article, we will discuss in more detail the advantages of using insects as a protein source for animals.

(1) High nutritional value
Insects are rich in protein, which makes them an ideal food source for animals. For example, crickets are estimated to contain up to 70% protein on a dry weight basis, compared to soybeans, which contain around 35% protein. In addition to protein, insects are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, and zinc.

(2) Lower environmental impact
Compared to traditional livestock farming, insect farming has a much lower environmental impact. Insects require less space, water, and feed than traditional livestock, and they produce fewer greenhouse gases. For example, it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, compared to only one gallon of water to produce one pound of crickets.

(3) Efficient feed conversion
Insects are also very efficient at converting feed into protein. For example, crickets can convert feed into protein with an efficiency of up to 20%, compared to around 3% for cows. This means that insects require less feed to produce the same amount of protein, which can help to reduce the overall environmental impact of animal protein production.

(4) Versatile
Insects can be used to feed a wide range of animals, from fish and poultry to livestock and pets. This makes them a versatile protein source that can be used in a variety of animal feed formulations.

(5) Cost-effective
Insects are also cost-effective compared to traditional livestock feed sources. For example, the cost of producing one pound of cricket protein is estimated to already be on par with soy protein (even at a smaller scale of production) and has already become almost 3x cheaper than beef!

(6) Sustainable
Insect farming is also more sustainable than traditional livestock farming. Insects require less land, water, and feed than traditional livestock, and they produce less waste. In addition, many insects can be farmed using organic waste as a feed source, which can help to reduce waste and promote circularity.

(7) Reduced risk of disease transmission
Compared to traditional livestock, insect farming has a reduced risk of disease transmission. Insects do not harbor many of the diseases that affect traditional livestock, and they do not require the use of antibiotics or other drugs to keep them healthy.

(8) Greater control over quality
Insect farming also provides greater control over the quality of the protein produced. Unlike traditional livestock, which can be subject to variations in feed quality and environmental conditions, insect farming allows for greater control over the nutritional content of the protein produced.

(9) Potential for new markets
Insect farming also has the potential to open up new markets for animal protein. For example, insects can be used to produce protein powder for human consumption, as well as for animal feed. This can help to meet the growing demand for sustainable protein sources while also providing new economic opportunities.

(10) Improved food security
Finally, the use of insects as a protein source can help to improve food security in many parts of the world. Insects are widely available in many countries and can be farmed locally, providing a low-cost and sustainable source of protein for both animals and humans.

In conclusion, using insects as a protein source for animals and in not-so-distant-future, humans, has several advantages. They are a high-quality, sustainable, and versatile protein source that can help reduce the environmental impact of animal agriculture. Insects are also cost-effective, which can be beneficial for farmers. As the demand for sustainable protein sources continues to grow, insects may play an increasingly important role in animal feed production.