Fly meat is likely a more efficient source of protein than traditional livestock, such as cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and the like, in that:

However, there are obstacles to fly farming. Ignoring any cultural ones - for instance, people not wanting to eat protein sourced from such stereotypically and often legitimately filthy insects - but taking into account any other potential issues with this: how, exactly, does one farm flies on an industrial scale?

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    $\begingroup$ I find it disconcerting that you managed to put so many links together about fly farming and yet you didn't stumble over it as an emerging industry - you're quite late at the table, mate. (also, I find amazing there's no agriculture/farming SE site. Like, really?) $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2021 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ People already farm fruit flies as food for frogs and other small animals as well. There are in fact flightless fruit flies bred that do not have wings just for this purpose. $\endgroup$ Nov 30, 2021 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ @AdrianColomitchi that's a good idea, farming.se, yep we need this one $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Nov 30, 2021 at 2:14
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't it be more efficient to farm maggots (fly larvae) than flies themselves? Farming flies means you waste input time and energy to turn edible maggots into edible flies. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Nov 30, 2021 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ Presumably maggot farms would be similar to mealworm farms. Mealworms are used as live food for pets. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Nov 30, 2021 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


Farming flies it is already being done.

Seven years ago Drew came up with the deceptively simple idea of farming flies to supply a fishmeal alternative to chicken and fish farms. He was inspired, in part, by the sight of a vast pool of blood collecting behind an abattoir near his family farm. It was swarming with flies. Flies are nature’s housecleaners, feasting on organic waste that would otherwise become a breeding ground for disease. With the support of his brother and the help of an entomologist at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University who was working on the idea of fly-driven “bio-recycling,” he developed a program that would take food waste from Cape Town’s hotels, grocery stores, restaurants and abattoirs to feed and breed flies.

Getting from the theoretical to the practical of farming flies was an arduous process of trial and error, says AgriProtein’s entomologist Richards. Flies are picky about how they breed and lay eggs, and the AgriProtein team had to figure out how to get flies, who prefer to breed in the summer and lay eggs only at specific times, to adapt to the needs of a 24-hour, 365-day-a year industrial process. “As with any biological process, the problem is up scaling,” says Richards. “In nature things work on a small scale. As soon as you want to increase that to industrial size, unforeseen problems come to the fore” — like the fact that maggots overheat when there are too many feeding at once. The solutions to those problems are a tightly-held secret.


Oh, come on, mate! Just a simple "insect farming" in your favourite (& hopefully decent) search engine would have led you Wikipedia's insect farming/As feed and food - with the two very first links to insects as feed and insects as food.

That's a lot to go through, each edible insect will have their own requirements in an insect farming business (which is estimated to hit $8 Billion by 2030).

But I'll give you one example in which is dead simple to harvest them: the black solder fly farming - their worms are self-harvesting

Yes, black soldier flies harvest themselves. You don’t even have to touch them.

The wiggling larvae graduate into crawling prepupae (I warned you—entomology nerd) and feel a compulsion to climb The Ramp of Death in a Biopod, Protapod or a DIY digester.

At the top of that ramp they find The Hole of No Return and unwittingly drop through it into The Bucket o’ Free Chicken Feed that you provide. (These are not official names of the components.)

Then, every couple days, you dump the bucket where your chickens can enjoy some high-protein snacks. How easy— and not-gross—is that?

Here, a search on youtube if you ever feel like starting to DIY: black soldier fly farming.

You can even buy kitchen bench-top equipment to do it (moar plastic - but, hey, it's for a good cause, eh?)

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    $\begingroup$ I helped breed these flies for a few months, until the goal of a million larvae was reached. The two hard problems we had were: the flies lay eggs where they wish, not anywhere convenient. And if the larvae are (mysteriously) unhappy, they crawl straight up the sides of plastic boxes and run away. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2021 at 10:39

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