Insect meal as alternative protein ingredient in broiler feed

Mitko Lalev, Pavlina Hristakieva, Nadia Mincheva, Magdalena Oblakova and Ivelina Ivanova
Agricultural Academy, Agricultural Institute, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria


Lalev, M., Hristakieva, P., Mincheva, N., Oblakova, M. & Ivanova, I. (2022). Insect meal as alternative protein ingredient in broiler feed. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 28 (4), 743–751

Insects are a potential alternative source of nutrients for the livestock husbandry in response to increasing demands and high price of conventional feeds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the inclusion of 10% insect meals from Black soldier fly – BSF (Hermetia illucens L.-HI) and from Silkworm – SW (Bombyx mori), as alternative source of protein in diets of broiler chickens on productive traits, contents of amino acids, fatty acids and minerals in their meat and broilers’ health. A total of 180 Ross day-old male broiler chickens with uniform live body weight divided in 3 groups C – control; BSFd – fed 10% deffated larvae meal instead of part of soybean meal; SW – fed 10% silkworm pupae meal instead of part of soybean meal) with 3 replicates, 20 birds/replicate were studied throughout 49 days.
At the end of the experiment, statistically significantly higher live weight was found out in the SW group and BSFd group: 3278.67 g and 3140.67 g, respectively compared to control chickens (2925.33 g; Р = 0.001). Again, the experimental groups were outlined with better weight gain, feed conversion ratio and slaughter traits. The dietary inclusion of 10% insect meals (BSF and SW) influence the content of some essential amino acids (EAA) and omega-3 fatty acids proportion in meat. The blood plasma lysozyme, APCA and beta-lysin in broiler chickens were not negatively influences in the groups supplemented with insect meals. The results from the study confirmed that SW and BSFd meals may be a good alternative to soybean meal in broiler chickens nutrition as they improved productive traits.

Keywords: Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens); Silkworm (Bombyx mori); insect-based diets; broilers; feeding with insects

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