Abstract, Animals, 2019

Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae and pre-pupae could be satisfactorily raised on household organic waste and used as poultry feed, offering a potential sustainable way to recycle untapped resources of waste. The present study was conducted to determine if whole (non-defatted) BSF larvae and pre-pupae raised on experimental household waste could substitute soybean meal and oil as ingredients for laying hen diets. While no significant differences in feed intake and the egg-laying rate of hens were observed throughout the experiment, egg weight and eggshell thickness were greater in the pre-pupae-fed group than in the other groups. Moreover, although diversity of the cecal microbiota was significantly higher in the pre-pupae-fed than in the control group, no significant differences in bacterial genera known to cause food poisoning were observed when comparing the treatment groups. Nonetheless, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium populations were significantly lower in the treatment than in the control group. Fat content in BSF was possibly related with the changes in the cecal microbiota. Hence, since BSF fat was deficient in essential fatty acids, special attention should be paid to the fat content and its fatty acid composition in the case of regular inclusion of BSF larvae and pre-pupae oil as an ingredient in poultry diets.


 black soldier fly; egg quality; microbiota; laying hens; poultry feed; sustainable feed production