I am now circling back around to the original topic I broached a few posts ago about BSF as feed for livestock, poultry, aquaculture, and reptiles. I talked a bit about aquaculture, poultry, and reptiles- so now I wanted to move over to poultry in earnest, as my post on poultry was really questions for consumers to consider. Of course, I will review additional literature on aquaculture as well (soon).
With this post I am reviewing an old study – but a classic in the BSF research world. The study was conducted by O.M. Hale at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station and published in 1973- long before Dr. Sheppard arrived there.
Hale, O. M. 1973. Dried Hermetia illucens larvae (Stratiomyidae) as a feed additive for poultry. Journal of the Georgia Entomological Society 8: 16-20.
I often wonder if Dr. Sheppard met Dr. Hale and this engagement led to Dr. Sheppard pursuing this line of research. I definitely will make a point to ask him the next time I am in Tifton, GA.
The material used in the study was collected from several sites- but a large portion came from a swine facility. Larvae were collected from inside the facility- most likely prepupae given the biology of the species. Other sources of BSF were rotting soybeans in a bag, as well as moist cornmeal and swine feed.
In this study, the author used newly hatched Babcock B-300 cockerels (no idea what these are). Two diets were used in the study; 1) BSF larvae, and 2) control diet (soybean meal, I believe). The BSF diet was basically larvae ground into a meal and then frozen until use.
Here are the results:
While this study is a bit dated- it really demonstrates the potential for BSF as a poultry feed. Of course, now, feed can be formulated more precisely. However, regulations will need to be adjusted so components of the BSF (not the whole insect by itself) can be used as a feed ingredient. Of course, in the USA, and I believe in the EU (correct me if I am wrong), BSF needs to be approved for use as poultry feed. I wouldn’t be surprised if regulations in both regions are revised within the next few years as the potential of the BSF as a feed ingredient is gaining traction and the attention of those individuals in a position to make such revisions.
Quick question.... not related to this post (test your knowledge)- why do BSF adults have two translucent spots on the anterior portion of their abdomen? To be continued....
As always- I hope this information is interesting and useful to you all. Best of luck and happy BSF farming!
Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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