Insect meal in broiler chicken feeding programs: Growth performance and metabolic and physiological responses to black soldier fly meal
This study investigated the effects of partial to complete replacement of soybean meal (SBM) with black soldier fly larvae meal (BSFLM) in broiler chicken feeding programs. The diets included a corn-SBM based control diet (0%BSFLM) fed with and without coccidiostats and antibiotics (AGP), and four BSFLM diets formulated to replace SBM by 12.5%, 25%, 50%, and 100%. Growth performance was recorded at the end of each phase (d 10, 24, and 49). Metabolic and physiological parameters were measured on d 24 and 49 to obtain comprehensive data resulting from a wide range of BSFLM inclusion levels. Low levels (12.5 and 25) of BSFLM may provide some growth promoting effects similar to AGP diets. In higher amounts (50, 100), BSFLM causes a depression in feed intake and growth. Further research is required to unravel post-absorptive nutrient utilization in broiler chickens fed high levels of BSFLM.