Cockroach Farm In China Uses Fish-Filled Moat To Keep A Billion Roaches Contained
A custom-made warehouse that breeds cockroaches and is guarded by trained fish may sound like something out of a film, but it’s actually a modern reality in parts of China.
Welcome to one of China’s biggest cockroach farms in Jinan, Shandong province, which is home to a billion creepy crawlies that are fed, and encouraged to breed. Sure, it may sound bonkers, but there’s an ecological reasoning behind the initiative.
Kept in relative darkness, this environmental project pumps food waste from local restaurants onto the shelves in four industrial-sized hangars that house some 20 million cockroaches per room. It’s dark, humid, and stinks – hey, what do you expect? – but it’s all in the name of sustainability.
Farm manager Yin Diansong told ABC Australia, ‘We have 60 small rooms. There are 20 million cockroaches in each room. In total there are 1 billion cockroaches. Every day they can eat 50 tonnes of kitchen waste.’
What’s more, there’s a moat around the cockroach population filled with fish that are fed a diet of the critters – so they’ve a taste for them if they try to escape. Yes, trained cockroach-eating fish patrol the perimeter of the compound.
Ground-up cockroach can be used in some Chinese medicines and also in cosmetics as powered filler. Farming cockroaches has genuine benefits, according to founder Li Yanrong, who said, ‘If we can farm cockroaches on a large scale we can provide protein that benefits the entire ecological cycle, we can replace animal feeds filled with antibiotics and instead supply organic feed which is good for the animals and the soil.’
You can watch the fascinating video of how it works – and why it’s being done – below:
What’s more, the chickens, fish, ducks, and pigs on this farm are also fed on cockroach protein, which is a viable food substitute – especially after China’s recent grain shortage – meaning the number of sales to farmers is on the increase.
Li also claims this replacement is a more sustainable, and that they ‘hope to promote this sort of farming worldwide’ because it makes for an ‘increased organic beneficial bacteria in the soil’.
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