Indigenous chicken (IC) contribute significantly to human nutrition as a cheap source of animal protein. Demand for IC products has been on the increase in both rural and urban areas due to increased preference for white meat, low fat content and the perceived special flavour. The enterprise has hence been identified as one with high potential to improve livelihoods and to ensure developing countries become food secure. However, IC production has been characterized by low productivity mainly attributed to poor nutrition, among other factors. Previous studies have revealed that feed cost constitutes about 70% of total poultry production costs. Thus, the high cost of feed resources especially protein concentrates and their limited availability continue to discourage the uptake of commercial IC production as a source of livelihood in Kenya. Studies elsewhere have identified Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) meal as an alternative feed resource. This study aimed to provide information on the nutritive value of locally prepared BSFL meal and to determine the growth performance of improved indigenous chicken fed on diets containing graded levels of the meal. The study was conducted at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Naivasha. A total of 300 KALRO improved indigenous chicken day old chicks were used for the feeding trial and taken through the chick and grower phases. Five diets in each phase were formulated to meet the National Research Council (1994) requirements for poultry with BSFL meal included at the rate of 0%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% designated as D0, D1, D2, D3 and D4 respectively to replace fishmeal and soybean meal. The five dietary treatments were randomly allocated to the 50 experimental units (replicates) of 6 birds each, with each treatment replicated 10 times in a completely randomized design. Results showed no significant influence of the dietary treatments on the final body weight of the chicks, the daily weight gain, and feed intake. However, there was a significant (P<0.05) difference in food conversion ratio (FCR) with diets containing BSFL meal having the highest FCR. The results show that BSFL meal can replace soybean and fishmeal in IC diets without any detrimental effect on the growth rate of the chicken.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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