​How to use Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae - Rehydrating - For Chickens, Birds and Pets

Dine a Chook Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae are a versatile treat for chickens, pets and wild animals.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae are a suitable food for:

  • Chickens
  • Ducks
  • Other poultry
  • Caged and aviary birds
  • Wild birds such as peewees, magpies and robins
  • Lizards such as bearded dragons
  • Turtles
  • Other reptiles
  • Fish
  • Frogs and other amphibians
  • Spiders
  • Small, omnivorous mammals

Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) can be fed straight from your hand or from a dish. They can also be rehydrated or mixed with other food. Always ensure that your animals have access to clean, fresh water.

Feeding Black Soldier Fly Larvae to chickens

Chickens enjoy Black Soldier Fly Larvae as a treat or as a reward for training purposes. They will eat them straight from your hand or from a dish.

BSFL can also be used to attract your chickens to a new feeder or to encourage them to eat a new food. Just scatter a few BSFL on top of the new feed, or lay a path of BSFL to the feeder, with more on top of the food inside.

Scattering a handful of BSFL on the ground encourages your chickens to show natural foraging behaviours and provides amusement while the find the treat.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae are a great treat to use in chicken toys. There are lots of toy designs available online. A cheap, DIY option is to cut small holes in a plastic bottle and fill it with a handful of BSFL. Your chickens will go nuts playing soccer and trying to get the BSFL out! Just make sure the holes are the right size so that the treats don’t fall out too quickly!

Remember that BSFL are not suitable as a main source of food for chickens. They should be used as a treat or supplement in addition to a complete feed. 8-10 BSFL for each bird, per day, is plenty.

Feeding Black Soldier Fly Larvae to other pets

For birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, spiders and small mammals, Black Solider Fly Larvae can be used as a treat or training reward.

Depending on the species, BSFL can be fed from your hand or from a dish. They may also be suitable for scattering on or mixing with other foods to encourage consumption.

For some species, such as reptiles and fish, Black Soldier Fly Larvae may be suitable as a main source of food. Please consult your veterinarian.

Feeding Black Soldier Fly Larvae to native animals

Wild birds and lizards also love Black Soldier Fly Larvae. And because insects are a natural food source for wildlife, it is safe to give them BSFL. Black Soldier Fly Larvae are a much better option than feeding wildlife unsuitable foods like bread or other human food.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae can be used to attract more native animals to your back yard. You can scatter BSFL on a bird feeder, or on the ground for lizards. You will have to be patient and wait for your local animals to discover the treat. But once they do, they will quickly become regular visitors to your yard!

Dos Don'ts
  • Provide clean, fresh water e.g. a bird bath, or a shallow dish on the ground for lizards
  • Feed somewhere safe from cats and dogs
  • Remove any uneaten food
  • Clean dishes and water sources regularly
  • Give more food than they will eat in 10 minutes
  • Feed wildlife every day
  • Feed wildlife unsuitable food

How to rehydrate Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae can be rehydrated. This makes the larvae look more lifelike for fussy eaters or shy wild birds.

Rehydration may be recommended in hot weather. It will help digestion and prevent dehydration. Depending on the liquid used, rehydrating BSFL can also add additional vitamins and minerals.

Rehydrating liquids include water, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) or an oil such as seed oil or a cold-pressed vegetable oil.

If you are using ACV, use 1.5-3 ml mixed with enough water to cover the BSFL.

Rehydrate the Black Soldier Fly Larvae by covering completely in liquid and allowing to soak until soft and flexible, usually 15-30 minutes. Drain and use within 1-2 hours, removing any uneaten BSFL after 20-30 minutes.

Left-over soaking liquid can be mixed with grain or another feed for an extra treat!

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Happy Chicken Keeping!

Rachael at Dine a Chook Australia