Living With Micro-livestock Production

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.

Farm 432

Farm 432
Credit: Katharina Unger

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:

Farm 432: Function from Katharina Unger on Vimeo.


About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Food, Insect Inspired. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Living With Micro-livestock Production

  1. CollageMama says:

    Sorry, but I am familiar with black soldier flies that show up in vermicompost bins, and they don’t do anything for my appetite!

  2. argylesock says:

    Reblogged this on Science on the Land and commented:
    argylesock says… I’ve mentioned before how people in many places eat insects. Those of us who don’t, perhaps will in future. If that’s too difficult for cultures to accept, perhaps we’ll get better at using insects in livestock feed and crop fertiliser. We already introduce insects as pollinators and as pest control.

  3. Pingback: Living With Micro-livestock Production II | Living With Insects Blog

  4. Pingback: Why not feed insects to other livestock? | Science on the Land

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