Nutritional potential of five selected insect meals for poultry diets
Protein is the major quality indicator in poultry diets. Fish meal, the only animal protein source with relatively high biological value in poultry feed has limited use because of its high cost. Fish meal alternatives have not been realised in Nigeria. However, the scavenging behaviour of poultry indicated consideration for insects as alternative to fish meal. Therefore, this study investigated the nutritional potential of five insects for poultry diets. Grasshopper (Melanoplus spp.) were handpicked from a local farm, Cockroach (Periplaneta americana) from houses, Cricket (Acheta domestica) were harvested at night with insect net through white light, Black ants (Monomorium minimum) and Weaver ants (Oecophylla longinoda) collected using palm oil as bait. The insects were steam killed at 70oC and oven dried at 60oC. Samples were analysed for proximate, mineral, anti-nutritional and amino acids compositions. Except for the amino acid profile, the proximate content, anti-nutritional components and mineral composition were virtually significantly different in magnitude among the samples. Though not significant, Cricket, cockroach and grasshopper had the crude protein levels of 56.90±24.60%, 51.40±25.70% and 55.70±27.85% respectively. All year round availability of the insects suggests their availability as alternative protein source. However, in-depth studies are required to optimise their levels of inclusion.
Keywords: Insect meal, Nutrient composition, feed ingredient, protein source
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