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The thought of putting Dog waste in the Biopod (a remarkable compost bin that self harvests Black Soldier fly larvae) got me excited. Dog poop is not good for anything, but, in this case, is it "good" for growing larvae and then later feeding my fish the larvae? Animal manure is encouraged, Dog poop is not manure but we catch alot of gofers and the larvae love decomposing them so I need some thoughts! Am I crazy?

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My understanding is that the general consensus discourages the use of animal parts or waste in BSF culture if the larvae/prepupae are going into an aquaponic food plant production. If you were just feeding your fish or feeding your chickens, animal waste wouldn't be a problem. You just don't want any fecal bacteria or animal pathogens hitching a ride onto your salad greens.  

Lots of people ignore this, especially with BSF, which are supposed to be extremely clean. But my personal experience with insect culture leads me to question how pathogen-free they can be, especially the way they crawl out of the filth during self-harvest. They could carry any number of microbes into your water just on their exterior surfaces, never mind what still might be alive in their guts.

Jeff, I have mixed feelings about the use of pet waste. For one thing, my pets are indoor animals. I am already exposed to whatever  pathogens these guys might harbor. I dump almost all of my cat litter around the lawn in front of the house. (I use a wood based litter).

Despite being housebroke, my dogs will still crap on the floor if they can't hold it. i have even seen them go outside on a cold winter's day  and pee only to come inside to poop. Some of this has found its way into the compost that I use to feed my worms. That in turn has both gone into the garden as castings or into the AP system as live worms.

POO-POO NO-NOS

Manure Matters There is a farm rule No dog, no cat, no swine, feces they can transmit parasities and nasty deseases even when composted.

I don't Biopod sooo. may be off base here.

hey Pat.

I'm just quoting chapter and verse the standard advice. If you had me over for an AP-grown salad I would have no problem eating it, but that's me speaking for myself. I can't say how others are going to feel.

To be on the safe side, I put dog poop in the trash and chicken waste goes into my bin composters. The worms in my vermicomposters get only non-meat kitchen scraps. I don't have a BSF culture yet, but if I did I probably would feed it with a small proportion of animal scraps (fish guts), but then I would give the BSF to the chickens and not to the fish.

Then again, my AP is outdoors, and there's no one keeping wild birds from crapping directly onto the grow beds or into the water (they take baths sometimes where the water flows onto the gravel). Then again, I can't seem to grow squat in my AP--either plants or fish. The scrawny plants I've managed so far have all gone to the chickens, who also helped me dispose of the minnows when I killed off the tank for a period of quarantine.

I found this discussion interesting, so I did a little googling and found this:

http://umaine.edu/publications/2510e/

I know nothing about this, so won't comment myself...

It's probably best to play it save and fully compost it before introducing it into your food system. The larve in the biopod may be able to carry some nasties if there happens to be any. Hard to say really.

I like some of the inground dog poop digesters/composters I have seen. There are many on the web. If you have a yard you can dig a hole in, maybe this is a better option.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Big-Dog-Poop-Composter/

There are many more online if you look around. Some good and some not so good designs.

  • Thanks! Turns out upon further thought, it sounds too unappetizing to advertize to the dinner guests.

Just tell your guests after they've eaten :) Dog poop is not usually a good idea, especially if you are going to be eating any of the end products. BSF larvae convert food to biomass. Since 95% of what they eat goes to weight, whatever you feed them ends up staying inside of them. Especially dangerous if you are using de-worming medication or anything like that.

Jaimie Denner said:

  • Thanks! Turns out upon further thought, it sounds too unappetizing to advertize to the dinner guests.

Oh, and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who gets their kicks from manure and fly maggots.

"The thought of putting Dog waste in the Biopod (a remarkable compost bin that self harvests Black Soldier fly larvae) got me excited."

Jamie, I may stand alone here, but I disagree with the general convictions. BSFL are excellent decomposers of poo and animal-based waste (bones, fat, blood and guts). I regularly feed my BSFL bins both, and they thrive in it. One of the reasons BSFL rules are different than composting worms, is that they eat much faster (so fast that it doesn't have time to rot), more efficiently, and create heat in the process (enough heat to kill many pathogens). If there is a heavy meat load, for instance, the ammonia alone created in the bin is nose curling, and no doubt has some sterilizing affect. The grubs shed their skins, and crawl out when full size. Once collected, they are clean to hold in your hands, and there is no odor to them. I don't add pet waste to mine, but they see plenty of animal carcasses and chicken shit. The biopod developer uses his to process pig shit, which is way worse than cat or dog.

That being said, it is always smart (and legally binding) to prevent any possible warm-blooded waste from contaminating your produce. So...I would recomend building a designated pet poo pod and let the grubs out to nature to procreate, or gather them and sterilize by heat or desication before feeding fish.

By the way, Alex, the figure I saw from Dr Olivier was that BSFL convert about 20% waste to biomass, not 95%. And...each step along the way of waste breakdown gives more opportunity for pathogens to be out-competed.

Jon, that's a load of BSF :D

Not being serious, I've just always wanted to use that line.

I don't think anyone is saying that BSF larva are not good for processing animal waste. Like you said, you just wouldn't want to introduce them into your food production system, at the very least not without taking some other precautions.



Jon Parr said:

Jamie, I may stand alone here, but I disagree with the general convictions. BSFL are excellent decomposers of poo and animal-based waste (bones, fat, blood and guts). I regularly feed my BSFL bins both, and they thrive in it. One of the reasons BSFL rules are different than composting worms, is that they eat much faster (so fast that it doesn't have time to rot), more efficiently, and create heat in the process (enough heat to kill many pathogens). If there is a heavy meat load, for instance, the ammonia alone created in the bin is nose curling, and no doubt has some sterilizing affect. The grubs shed their skins, and crawl out when full size. Once collected, they are clean to hold in your hands, and there is no odor to them. I don't add pet waste to mine, but they see plenty of animal carcasses and chicken shit. The biopod developer uses his to process pig shit, which is way worse than cat or dog.

That being said, it is always smart (and legally binding) to prevent any possible warm-blooded waste from contaminating your produce. So...I would recomend building a designated pet poo pod and let the grubs out to nature to procreate, or gather them and sterilize by heat or desication before feeding fish

e coli, salmonella etc, all warm blooded animal diseases. You probably want to avoid any warm blooded animal waste in your system (even in the bellies of larvae) because it might be carrying things that could make you sick. Or your guests sick. It might not, but it's a risk.

I like Jons idea of releasing the larvae into nature though, to turn into more flies that can then populate your poo-free pods. I can't imagine that being an issue.

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