Effects of substituting fishmeal with black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) on growth performance of exotic layer chicks

An increase in consumption of animal products is expected by the year 2050, and as a result this will result in enormous demand for resources, feed being most challenging because of the limited availability of natural resources. The increasing demand for soybean meal and fishmeal (FM) for use in animal feeds has led to increased prices and moreover their availability in future will be limited. Insect rearing could be a part of the solution as they take a short period to mature, require a small space and fewer resources to start. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of substituting FM with black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) at different inclusion levels as a protein source in chick diets on weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion efficiency (FCE). A total of 250 day old Issa Brown chicks were used for this experiment that ran for a period of eight weeks. The chicks were randomly distributed into five treatments each with five birds per replicate and nine replications. Diets were formulated based on five different inclusion levels of BSFL (0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%). Data on weight gain, feed intake and FCE were analysed using one way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The statistical package R version 3.5.1 was used with completely randomized design (CRD) model. The significance between treatment means was tested at statistical significance level of 5% and separated using Duncan Multiple Range in case of significant difference. The results showed that average final weight, overall weight gain, daily feed intake, average daily weight gain and FCE were significantly different. High performance can be achieved at lower inclusion levels of BSFL up to 50% in chicks’ diet. Thus, BSFL is a good protein source for exotic layer chicks.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
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Web resource