Feeding the future human population will require protein sources beyond traditional livestock. Insects, aka micro-livestock, are an edible source of protein that may augment future diets. Industrial farming has mechanized much of the care and feeding of livestock. Micro-livestock rearing can be mechanized and concept units have been designed.Austrian designer, Katharina Unger, has designed Farm 432, a device to produce 2.4 kg of edible soldier fly larvae in 432 hours. Farm 432 has an area for the adult flies to mate and lay eggs. The eggs hatch and the larvae feed on “bio waste”. Farm 432 uses the behavior of the larvae (they crawl upward) for self harvesting. The larvae crawl up a tube and into a harvesting tray.
Some of the larvae can be allowed to pupate and hatch for continuous production. Katharina Unger has a great website with a lot of information about her concept. In addition to producing protein for human consumption, Farm 432 could be used by entomologists to produce insects for research. A video of Farm 432 is embedded below: