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Converting Mass Captured Insects into Easy to Store Fish Feed


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#1 centrarchid

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 05:03 PM

This is the third time I trying this with a site so should have it down.  We have been doing mass captures of Japanese Beetles where we get literally 100's of lbs relatively easy.  I have a project where the beetles are to be converted into fish feed.  First rounds where not very effective other than demonstrating Bluegill and Rainbow Trout will not turn down the beetles products offered.  Big problem I think we licked is storage.  Freezing them takes a lot of space.  Now I have a way to convert them into something that is more compact and likely will keep very well, at least as a protein source.


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#2 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:20 PM

Let's see it. Teaser.


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#3 mattknepley

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 06:14 AM

ditto.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#4 gerald

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 08:45 AM

If that works out, may I suggest fire ants next?


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-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#5 centrarchid

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 08:48 AM

We have a means of capturing the beetles in mass, this is but a small fraction of a single trap load.  To date we have been storing them in chest freezers which do not have the capacity needed to handle what we catch.  They must be frozen or they degrade very quickly and the stink so bad that tree-hugger types literally have thrown out of building where they are being processed.

 

 

 

 

 

They are pretty.  Mass shown is being dried out in a convection oven.  Too slow.

 

 

 

Additionally, once dried, intact beetles have a bulk density that is too low for efficient storage.


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#6 centrarchid

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 08:57 AM

I have no easy way to upload pictures to this site.  No time to fart around with another external image holding service so suffer my link below.

 

I am centrarchid and Blue Tiger.

 

https://www.backyard...eetles.1223688/


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#7 mattknepley

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 04:48 PM

That is an interesting read. And to echo many of the poultry enthusiasts, "Git them JBs!"
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#8 swampfish

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 01:59 PM

There will likely be a large drop off in food quality of the beetles through the summer. When the Japanese beetles first emerge, the second half of June in Illinois, wild birds, fish, and mammals go after them with gusto. Cutting one open at that time reveals lots of fat bodies and other innards. About the third week of July, the wild fish, birds, and mammals mostly quit eating them. If you cut them in half in late July and through August, they are essentially an empty shell with few juicy parts inside. In other words, they turn into essentially indigestible roughage (chitin exoskeleton) with little nutritional value. it is reported in the literature that wildlife grow "tired" of eating them, but it is likely due to a huge drop in nutritional value. With space being limited, you might want to collect Japanese beetles for food for the first few weeks after they emerge and not bother with keeping the older beetles.

 

Phil Nixon

Extension Horticultural Entomologist (retired)

University of Illinois



#9 centrarchid

centrarchid
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Posted 17 March 2018 - 06:17 PM

There will likely be a large drop off in food quality of the beetles through the summer. When the Japanese beetles first emerge, the second half of June in Illinois, wild birds, fish, and mammals go after them with gusto. Cutting one open at that time reveals lots of fat bodies and other innards. About the third week of July, the wild fish, birds, and mammals mostly quit eating them. If you cut them in half in late July and through August, they are essentially an empty shell with few juicy parts inside. In other words, they turn into essentially indigestible roughage (chitin exoskeleton) with little nutritional value. it is reported in the literature that wildlife grow "tired" of eating them, but it is likely due to a huge drop in nutritional value. With space being limited, you might want to collect Japanese beetles for food for the first few weeks after they emerge and not bother with keeping the older beetles.

 

Phil Nixon

Extension Horticultural Entomologist (retired)

University of Illinois

 

I can test that easily by doing proximate composition analysis as a function of harvesting dates.  Their may be another thing impacting palatability in addition to energy content, namely toxicity.  Testing latter I do not have ability to do but think it is likely due the habits of beetles.  They feed a lot to replenish reserves but like most animals do decline over time.


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