Growth performance of broiler chickens based on grasshopper meal inclusions in feed formulation
The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential benefits of substituting dietary fish meal with grasshopper meal on the growth performance of broiler chickens. The study was carried out in a mini-animal house of the Department of Biological Science, Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State, Nigeria. Seventy-two, 2-weeks old Arbor acres chicken strain were procured from May Farms, Gombe. The grasshoppers were collected using sweep net trapping method. They were oven dried and milled using local milling machine and incorporated into poultry diets by replacing dietary fishmeal at 0% (Control, A), 50% (B) and 100% (C). Each dietary treatment had 24 birds triplicates of eight birds per replicate in a completely randomized design. The birds were randomly allotted into pens demarcated with plywoods. The birds were fed the experimental diets throughout the six weeks period of the experiment and were subjected to similar managerial and dietary conditions during which time data was collected and used to evaluate weekly weight-gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, feed efficiency ratio and linear body measurements monitored. The weight-gain were significantly different (p<0.05) among the treatment groups where birds on Treatment C(1720.11±2.11 g) was highest followed by those on treatment B(1480.00±2.12 g) and the least mean final weekly weight gain of 1,287.98±1.20 g was observed in Treatment A; Also feed intake exhibited the same pattern of weight gain. For linear body measurements, the highest body length increase was recorded in Treatment C (21.39±1.01 cm) while the least was recorded in those on Treatment A, (15.49±1.10 cm). The same trend was observed for body width increase, thigh length increase, shank length increase and wing length increase. This study showed that dietary grasshopper meal promoted growth of broiler chicken and so would conveniently replace dietary fishmeal. Therefore, establishment
of insect farms are highly recommended to produce enough grasshopper meal to meet the demands of poultry feed industries.
Keywords: Arbor acres; growth parameters; dietary grasshopper; chicken body; liner measurement