Researchers showing insect meal also improve calcium metabolism in laying hens
Egg production and quality responses of adding up to 7.5% defatted black soldier fly larvae meal in a corn–soybean meal diet fed to Shaver White Leghorns from wk 19 to 27 of age
We examined egg production and quality responses of adding up to 7.5% defatted black soldier fly larvae meal (BSFLM) in a corn–soybean meal diet fed to pullets (19 to 27 wk of age). The concentration of CP and crude fat in BSFLM sample was 59.3 and 7.0% DM, respectively. A corn–soybean meal diet was formulated with 0 or 5.0 or 7.5% BSFLM and fed (n = 6) to a total of 108, 19-wk-old Shaver White pullets placed in conventional cages (6 birds/cage). The birds had free access to feed and water. Hen-day egg production (HDEP) and average egg weight were monitored daily and feed intake (FI) weekly. Egg quality parameters were assessed on individual eggs collected on the 5th d of wk 22, 24, and 26 and included individual EW (IEW), albumen height (HU), yolk color (YC), egg shell-breaking strength (SBS) and thickness (ST). A quadratic response (P < 0.02) was observed for HDEP, EW and egg mass. Specifically, birds fed 0 and 7.5% BSFLM diets had similar (P > 0.05) values for these parameters with birds fed 5.0% BSFLM showing lower (P < 0.05) HDEP than 0 or 7.5% BSFLM fed birds. The HDEP was 89.4, 84.8, and 87.8 for 0, 5.0, and 7.5% BSFLM, respectively. Feeding BSFLM linearly (P < 0.01) increased FI and feed conversion ratio (FCR) (FI/egg mass). There was no diet effect (P > 0.05) on IEW and HU, however, BSFLM linearly (P = 0.02) reduced CV of IEW. The IEW was 53.7, 52.3, and 53.0 g for 0, 5.0, and 7.5% BSFLM-fed birds, respectively and corresponding CV values of IEW were 7.9, 5.2, and 5.1%. Feeding BSFLM linearly (P < 0.01) increased YC, SBS, and ST. In conclusion, birds fed 7.5% BSFLM had similar HDEP and egg mass but poor FCR relative to corn–soybean meal diet without BSFLM. The effects of BSFLM on egg quality characteristics warrant further investigations.
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