In the recent past, high poultry feed costs are driving many vulnerable communities involved in poultry production out of business. The high cost is mainly driven by the protein source, which represents the most expensive component in not only poultry feeds but generally, in animal feed. In conventional poultry feed, the main protein sources are soybean meal and fish meal. Exploring potential cheap alternative sources of proteins in poultry feeds is therefore paramount to sustainability of the poultry industry and profitability of the poultry business. The present study explored potential of partially replacing the conventional protein sources with black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) meal in broiler and layer chicken diets. A conventional diet (C) containing soybean and fishmeal was compared to three experimental diets formulated by inclusion of BSFL meal at 5 (B1), 10 (B2), and 15% (B3) for broiler diets and 5 (L1), 10 (L2), 15 (L3) and 20% (L4) for layer diets. Dietary effects on average daily feed intake, average daily body weight gain, egg production and the economic implication of their use in broiler and layer chicken production were evaluated. The results indicated that replacement of soybean meal and fishmeal with BSFL in the diets did not affect daily feed intake and daily body weight gain. However, egg production increased significantly (p<0.05) with the inclusion of BSFL meal in layer chicken diets. For both broiler and layer chicken, inclusion of BSFL in the diets resulted in increase in the Cost Benefit Ratio (CBR) and Return on Investment (RoI). The higher the inclusion of BSFL meal in the broiler and layer diets, the higher the CBR and RoI. The results of the study implies there is need for the promotion of insect mass production enterprises for animal feed protein as well as for income generation and job creation particularly in the developing countries.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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