Conference Paper

Broiler eating rate suggests preference for black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) over regular feed

Authors:
  • Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology
  • Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology
  • Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology
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Abstract

Whole BSFL can be fed to broilers not only for decreasing soybean-protein in diets but also to improve animal welfare. How much whole BSFL could be fed to broilers is however unknown. We assessed apparent interest of broilers in eating BSFL when offered with either 10% (L10), 20% (L20) or 30% (L30) of voluntary feed intake (FI) of control chickens (CON) that received no BSFL but age-specific diets. Ross 308 chicks (n=252) were allocated to one of either 4 groups (n=6 pens/group). Time spent by birds for eating their daily portion of larvae (TSL, min) was recorded. Larvae eating rate (LER, g/min) and body weight (BW) adjusted LER of the birds (LER_BW, g BSFL / kg BW and min) were calculated. Similarly, a theoretical feed eating rate (FER, g feed / light period of a day in min) with adjustment for BW (FER_BW) was calculated. Lastly, the ratio of LER:FER was calculated as fold change difference (FCD). Overall, TSL did not differ among 3 groups (P=0.982) expect for the first day (P<0.05), on which L30 spent more time (P<0.05) than did L10 and L20. The L10 had a higher LER than did the L20 and L30 bird (P<0.05). LER increased from 0.03 (d1) to 6.8 g/min (d42) by more than 200 folds. In contrast, LER_BW decreased from 8.9 to 2.9 (g/BW and min) from wk1 to wk6 (P<0.001), and did not depend on the amount of BSFL fed to birds (P=0.138). Although both FI and FER increased linearly over time (P<0.001), provision of BSFL reduced FI and FER in both L10 and L20, and did more so in L30 as compared to CON (P<0.05). FER increased from wk 1 to wk 6 by about 25 folds in CON. In contrast, FER_BW decreased linearly in all four groups over time (P<0.05). While CON had a higher FER_BW than did L30 at wk 1, 3 and 4 (P<0.05), there was no significant difference at wk 5 (P>0.05). The FCD (on average >50) was not influenced by the amount of larvae offered to the birds (P=0.195), but decreased slightly from wk 1 and wk 6 (P.018). We conclude that chickens can consume up to 30% of their voluntary FI as BSFL in just a few minutes. Apparent interest of chickens in BSFL as compared to regular feed is at least 50 times higher, implying the potential of BSFL to be used as an edible environmental enrichment tool.

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Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae (BSFL) are rich in protein and have the potential to be used in animal feed. The aim of the present study was to determine the immunoprophylactic effect of BSFL against Salmonella Gallinarum in broiler chicks as an alternative feed additive. Results showed that BSFL improved body weight gain and increased frequency of CD4+ T lymphocyte, serum lysozyme activity, and spleen lymphocyte proliferation. Moreover, BSFL reinforced bacterial clearance and increased survivability of broiler chicks against S. Gallinarum. These data suggested that BSFL has prophylactic properties with stimulating non-specific immune responses, as well as reduced bacterial burden against S. Gallinarum.
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Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae are a promising source of protein and lipid for animal feeds. The nutritional composition of the BSF larvae depend partly on the composition of the feeding medium. The BSF lipid profile in part mimics the feeding media lipid profile, and micronutrients, like minerals and vitamins, can readily accumulate in black soldier fly lar-vae. However, investigative studies on bioconversion and accumulation of nutrients from media to black soldier fly larvae are scarce. Here we show that inclusion of the brown algae Ascophyllum nodosum in the substrate for black soldier fly larvae can introduce valuable nutrients, commonly associated with the marine environment, into the larvae. The omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3), iodine and vitamin E concentrations increased in the larvae when more seaweed was included in the diet. When the feeding media consisted of more than 50% seaweed, the larvae experienced poorer growth, lower nutrient retention and lower lipid levels, compared to a pure plant based feeding medium. Our results confirm the plasticity of the nutritional make-up of black soldier fly larvae, allowing it to accumulate both lipid-and water-soluble compounds. A broader understanding of the effect of the composition of the feeding media on the larvae composition can help to tailor black soldier fly lar-vae into a nutrient profile more suited for specific feed or food purposes.
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Dietary fat affects appetite and appetite-related peptides in birds and mammals; however, the effect of dietary fat on appetite is still unclear in chickens faced with differential energy statuses. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of dietary fat on feed intake and hypothalamic neuropeptides in chickens subjected to two feeding states or two diets. In Experiment 1, chickens were fed a high-fat diet (HF) or low-fat diet (LF) for 35d, and then subjected to fed (HF-fed, LF-fed) or fasted (HF-fasted, LF-fasted) statuses for 24h. In Experiment 2, chickens that were fed with HF or LF for 35d were fasted for 24h and then re-fed with HF (HF-RHF, LF-RHF) or LF (HF-RLF, LF-RLF) for 3h. The results showed that 35d-HF chickens had increased body fat deposition despite decreasing feed intake even when the diet was altered during the re-feeding period (P<0.05). 35d-LF promoted agouti-related peptide (AgRP) expression compared with HF (P<0.05) under both fed and fasted conditions. LF chickens with RHF had lower neuropeptide Y (NPY) expression compared to RLF chickens, while HF chickens showed the opposite result in which RHF chickens had higher NPY expression than RLF chickens (P<0.05). These results demonstrate (1) that high-fat diet decreases feed intake even when the subsequent diet is altered; (2) the orexigenic effect of hypothalamic AgRP; and (3) that dietary fat alters the response of hypothalamic NPY to subsequent energy intake. These findings provide a novel view of the metabolic perturbations associated with long-term dietary fat over-ingestion in chickens.
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In order to expand with validated scientific data the limited knowledge regarding the potential application of insects as innovative feed ingredients for poultry, the present study tested a partial substitution of soya bean meal and soya bean oil with defatted black soldier fly ( Hermetia illucens ) larvae meal (H) in the diet for growing broiler quails ( Coturnix coturnix japonica ) on growth performance, mortality, nutrients apparent digestibility, microbiological composition of excreta, feed choice, carcass and meat traits. With this purpose, a total of 450 10-day-old birds were allocated to 15 cages (30 birds/cage) and received three dietary treatments: a Control diet (C) and two diets (H1 and H2) corresponding to 10% and 15% H inclusion levels, respectively (H substituted 28.4% soya bean oil and 16.1% soya bean meal for H1, and 100% soya bean oil and 24.8% soya bean meal for H2, respectively). At 28 days of age, quails were slaughtered, carcasses were weighed, breast muscles were then excised from 50 quails/treatment, weighed, and ultimate pH (pHu) and L *, a *, b * colour values were measured. Breast muscles were then cooked to assess cooking loss and meat toughness. For the digestibility trial, a total of 15 28-day-old quails were assigned to the three feeding groups. The excreta samples were subjected to chemical and microbiological analysis. The same 15 quails were then simultaneously provided with C and H2 diets for a 10-day feed choice trial. Productive performance, mortality and carcass traits were in line with commercial standards and similar in all experimental groups. With the exception of ether extract digestibility, which was lower in H1 group compared with C and H2 ( P =0.0001), apparent digestibility of dry matter, CP, starch and energy did not differ among treatments. Microbial composition of excreta was also comparable among the three groups. Feed choice trial showed that quails did not express a preference toward C or H2 diets. Breast meat weight and yield did not differ among C, H1 and H2 quails. Differently, the inclusion of H meal reduced meat pHu compared with C. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that H. illucens larvae meal can partially replace conventional soya bean meal and soya bean oil in the diet for growing broiler quails, thus confirming to be a promising insect protein source for the feed industry. Further research to assess the impact of H meal on intestinal morphology as well as on meat quality and sensory profile would be of utmost importance.
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Stimulation of foraging behaviour during the first weeks of life by increasing environmental complexity such as scattering food items on the litter may be one way of preventing leg disorders, reducing fear and improving broiler welfare. However, studies on effects of access to various food based enrichment are inconclusive. Motivation of animals to search for resources in the litter may be driven by the motivational significance of the provided food resource. This study was conducted to test whether the motivational significance of food enrichment differentially affects activity, litter directed behaviours and fearfulness in broiler chickens. Chickens (120 chickens in three batches of 40 animals) were divided into four groups according to type of food-related enrichment: (1) mealworms (highly attractive), (2) whole wheat (less attractive), (3) wood shavings (no nutritional value), and (4) no enrichment. Enrichment materials were scattered on the litter daily for 12 days starting on day 6. On days 6, 9, 12 and 15 of age the chickens were video-recorded from 10 min before to 30 min after scattering. Duration and frequency of physical activity (time spent on legs), litter directed behaviour (litter pecking and scratching) and leg stretching were analysed from videos in 10-min intervals. All birds were subjected to a tonic immobility test (day 16) and a novel object test (day 17). Mealworm treatment induced a significant increase in activity, litter pecking and litter scratching (p < 0.001) during the first 10 min interval after the treatment. There were no effects on activity, litter directed behaviour, and on any of the parameters in the tonic immobility test and novel object test. In conclusion, motivational significance of the food items scattered on the litter affect litter directed behaviours in broiler chickens. More studies are needed to develop feasible attractive food enrichments and complex distribution methods that would increase time spent in activity.
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Metabolism of living organisms can be disrupted by the changes in the environment and nutrient intake causing serious diseases such as sudden deaths in broilers. High environmental temperature and ad libitum feeding were suspected as predisposing factors inducing sudden deaths. Our objective was to determine the changes in serum enzyme levels and liver lesions in broiler birds subjected to high temperature and ad libitum feeding. COBB 500 broiler strain was (n=90) divided into three groups including control group (n=30) treatment 1 (n=30, 35°C for 12 h per day) and treatment 2 (n=30, fed ad libitum) and studied from 26 days to 40 days of age. Blood samples (1.5 ml) with 6 replications were withdrawn from wing vein of the birds. The serum Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), Alanine Transaminase (ALT), Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), Total Protein and Albumin levels were assessed using commercial kits. Liver tissues of 14, 20, 33 and 38 days old birds from treatment 3 (33°C, ad libitum feeding) were fixed, processed and stained with Haemotoxylin and Eosin for histopathological assessment. Data were analyzed using General Linear Model in Minitab 14. The ALP levels were increased with age in control group and treatment 1 group but decreased in the treatment 2 group. The ALT levels were decreased with age in control group and treatment 1, whereas, increased in the treatment 2 group. AST levels were increased in all three groups. The total Protein levels were increased in treatment 2 but Albumin levels were remained similar throughout the lifespan of birds. Histopathological studies revealed that hepatic necrosis was common in older birds. Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 26 (4): 584 – 595 (2015)
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Concerns about the environment, nutrition, and farm profits all point to the increasing importance of the phosphorus (P) content of a diet. Animals must now be fed near their P requirements. However, it is very difficult to know the exact P requirements of broilers. The objective of this study was to provide efficacy data of a 6-phytase for use in broilers at different Ca levels and Ca/P ratios. Broilers were randomly assigned to 6 treatments, each with 6 replicates. The treatments comprised diets differing in Ca and P level: 1) normal Ca and total normal phosphorus (Pt) level, 2) normal Ca and low Pt level, 3) low Ca and Pt level, and differing in phytase level (no, normal or high phytase supplementation). During the entire study, lowest BW was obtained when broilers were given the imbalanced (normal Ca and low Pt level) diet with low phytase supplementation. Among the balanced dietary treatments no significant effects on performance were observed. A higher Ca/Pt ratio decreased feed intake, whereas addition of phytase increased feed intake. For the starter period, the most favorable feed conversion was obtained when broilers were fed the imbalanced diet with a high dosage of phytase or the low Ca, low Pt diet supplemented with phytase. For the grower and finisher period, broilers with the highest weight gain had the highest feed intake resulting in comparable feed conversions between treatments. Litter quality was not affected by dietary treatments but prevalence of foot pad lesions and hock burn was significantly influenced by treatments. The highest percentage of both was seen when broilers were given the imbalanced diets. The overall results of this study emphasises the relevance of the Ca/P ratio in modern broiler feeding and P studies. It can be concluded from this study that dietary Ca and P concentrations can be reduced by 20% if done in a balanced way. If done in combination with phytase supplementation, performance results improve even more.
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A 60-70% increase in consumption of animal products is expected by 2050. This increase in the consumption will demand enormous resources, the feed being the most challenging because of the limited availability of natural resources, ongoing climatic changes and food-feed-fuel competition. The costs of conventional feed resources such as soymeal and fishmeal are very high and moreover their availability in the future will be limited. Insect rearing could be a part of the solutions. Although some studies have been conducted on evaluation of insects, insect larvae or insect meals as an ingredient in the diets of some animal species, this field is in infancy. Here we collate, synthesize and discuss the available information on five major insect species studied with respect to evaluation of their products as animal feed. The nutritional quality of black soldier fly larvae, the house fly maggots, mealworm, locusts-grasshoppers-crickets, and silkworm meal and their use as a replacement of soymeal and fishmeal in the diets of poultry, pigs, fish species and ruminants are discussed. The crude protein contents of these alternate resources are high: 42 to 63% and so are the lipid contents (up to 36% oil), which could possibly be extracted and used for various applications including biodiesel production. Unsaturated fatty acid concentrations are high in housefly maggot meal, mealworm and house cricket (60-70%), while their concentrations in black soldier fly larvae are lowest (19-37%). The studies have confirmed that palatability of these alternate feeds to animals is good and they can replace 25 to 100% of soymeal or fishmeal depending on the animal species. Except silkworm meal other insect meals are deficient in methionine and lysine and their supplementation in the diet can enhance both the performance of the animals and the soymeal and fishmeal replacement rates. Most insect meals are deficient in Ca and its supplementation in the diet is also required, especially for growing animals and laying hens. The levels of Ca and fatty acids in insect meals can be enhanced by manipulation of the substrate on which insects are reared. The paper also presents future areas of research. The information synthesized is expected to open new avenues for a large scale use of insect products as animal feed.
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Studies have demonstrated that obesity and osteoporosis are linked disorders in humans. This study examined the hypothesis that excessive lipid consumption affects bone metabolism in laying hens. A total of one hundred 63-wk-old laying hens were randomly divided into 2 treatments and fed either a regular layer diet (control) or a high energy and low protein diet (HE-LP; experimental treatment) for 80 d. Egg production, feed intake, and BW were recorded at various days during the treatment. At d 80, ten randomly chosen birds per treatment group were killed. Abdominal fat weight, liver weight, and liver fat content were determined. Serum levels of total calcium, inorganic phosphate, and alkaline phosphatase were measured using a biochemical analyzer. Serum concentrations of osteocalcin, leptin-like protein, and estrogen were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Tibia length and width were measured using a vernier caliper; density of the right tibias was determined using an x-ray scanner; and mechanical properties of the left tibias were analyzed using a material testing machine. The expression of osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin mRNA in the keel bone was analyzed by real-time PCR. The concentration of osteocalcin protein in the keels was measured using western blot. Compared with control hens, hens fed the HE-LP diet had lower egg production, lower feed intake, greater liver fat content, and greater abdominal fat pad mass (P < 0.05). Feeding the HE-LP diet increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity, osteocalcin, leptin-like protein, and estrogen concentrations (P < 0.05), and decreased the keel osteocalcin concentrations (P < 0.05). There were significant positive correlations between the serum concentrations of leptin-like protein, estrogen, and osteocalcin regardless of treatment (P < 0.05). The results indicated that HE-LP diet induced a fatty liver disorder in laying hens with an upregulation in bone turnover and exacerbated skeletal damage. The data supported a role for lipid metabolism in skeletal heath of laying hens.
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Two studies examined responses of broilers to diets varying in AME from 30 to 59 d of age. A 59-d termination allows for evaluation of energy needs applicable to “big bird” programs, because research on nutritional needs for such programs is warranted. Two experiments were conducted: experiment (exp.) 1 having low temperatures whereas exp. 2 used moderate temperatures. The treatments in exp. 1 and 2 were AME concentrations ranging from 3,175 to 3,310 kcal/kg with CP, TSAA, and Lys being identical across all treatments. In exp. 2, an additional treatment consisted of a diet containing 3,310 kcal of AME/kg with CP, TSAA, and Lys being increased by 4% of those specifications used in the other treatments so as to minimize differences in energy:CP ratio. In both experiments, feed consumption and conversion decreased linearly as dietary AME increased, but breast meat yield was reduced with the high AME diet and only increasing amino acids in exp. 2 ameliorated the negative effect. Live production costs and gross feeding margin (bird return over feed costs) were optimized in exp. 1 with 3,220 kcal of AME/kg of diet, but 3,310 kcal of AME/kg of diet and increased amino acids were needed in exp. 2 for improved monetary returns. In both experiments, broilers had similar caloric consumption indicating that these broilers can compensate to varying dietary AME concentrations within practical limits. These results demonstrated that the response to dietary AME was more pronounced under moderate ambient temperatures.
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We briefly review the literature on social learning in birds, concluding that strong evidence exists mainly for predator recognition, song, mate choice and foraging. The mechanism of local enhancement may be more important than imitation for birds learning to forage, but the former mechanism may be sufficient for faithful transmission depending on the ecological circumstances. To date, most insights have been gained from birds in captivity. We present a study of social learning of foraging in two passerine birds in the wild, where we cross-fostered eggs between nests of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus and great tits, Parus major. Early learning causes a shift in the foraging sites used by the tits in the direction of the foster species. The shift in foraging niches was consistent across seasons, as showed by an analysis of prey items, and the effect lasted for life. The fact that young birds learn from their foster parents, and use this experience later when subsequently feeding their own offspring, suggests that foraging behaviour can be culturally transmitted over generations in the wild. It may therefore have both ecological and evolutionary consequences, some of which are discussed.
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Five experiments were conducted to determine if serum uric acid, serum urea N (SUN), serum ammonia, and the uric acid content of the excreta (UAE) could be used to determine the efficacy of amino acid (AA) utilization in diets for broilers. All experiments were conducted with Ross x Ross 308 or 708 broilers from 0 to 14 or 0 to 18 d posthatching in brooder batteries. Treatments had 6 or 7 replications with at least 6 broilers per replicate pen. All diets were corn and soybean meal-based and formulated to contain 1.0% Ca and 0.45% nonphytate P and to meet or exceed the requirements of all nutrient requirements except total Lys, Met, and Thr (experiment 1) or Met (experiments 2 to 5). Experiment 1 consisted of 2 dietary treatments. Diet 1 was formulated to be deficient in Lys, Thr, and Met and diet 2 was formulated to be adequate in all nutrients. Broilers fed the AA-adequate diet had increased (P<0.01 to 0.03) ADG, ADFI, and G:F compared with broilers fed the AA-deficient diet. Serum uric acid, SUN, serum ammonia, and UAE were not affected (P=0.34 to 0.70) by dietary treatment. In experiments 2 to 5, diets contained 1.35% total Lys, 2 levels of Met (0.50 or 0.76 TSAA:Lys), and without or with Gly supplementation up to 2.32% Gly+Ser. Broilers fed diets containing supplemental Met in experiments 2 to 5 had increased (P=0.01 to 0.03) ADG, ADFI, and G:F. Gain:feed was increased (P=0.01 to 0.07) in broilers fed supplemental Gly. Serum uric acid and SUN were decreased (P<0.01) after a 2-h fast in broilers fed supplemental Met and Gly. Serum uric acid and SUN also were decreased at other times after fasting, but the 2-h fast gave the most consistent response. Uric acid content of the excreta was decreased (P<0.01) in broilers fed supplemental Met. Serum ammonia was decreased (P<0.01 to 0.02) in experiments 2, 3, and 4 at varying times postfeeding but was not affected by diet in experiment 5. The results of this research indicate that serum uric acid, SUN, and UAE concentrations can be used as an indicator of AA utilization in broilers fed AA-adequate and AA-deficient diets.
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Feed intake is the major factor that influences both the body weight gain and feed efficiency in meat-type poultry. Because so many factors can influence feed intake, it is often difficult to correct a problem of poor feed intake unless a complete review of feed and management practices is made. Management and flock health issues are usually more likely to reduce feed intake than dietary factors. Dietary factors that influence feed intake would be common among all flocks in a complex rather than on individual flocks. In contrast, environmental or immunological stresses have the most profound effects on flock variation in feed intake. Any management protocol that would alleviate these stressors will improve feed intake. To improve flock feed intake, initially investigate the source of greatest stress or disease challenge.
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Subjects with dietary obesity and pre-diabetes have an increased risk for developing both nerve conduction slowing and small sensory fiber neuropathy. Animal models of this type of neuropathy have not been described. This study evaluated neuropathic changes and their amenability to dietary and pharmacological interventions in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD), a model of pre-diabetes and alimentary obesity. Female C57BL6/J mice were fed normal diets or HFDs for 16 weeks. HFD-fed mice developed obesity, increased plasma FFA and insulin concentrations, and impaired glucose tolerance. They also had motor and sensory nerve conduction deficits, tactile allodynia, and thermal hypoalgesia in the absence of intraepidermal nerve fiber loss or axonal atrophy. Despite the absence of overt hyperglycemia, the mice displayed augmented sorbitol pathway activity in the peripheral nerve, as well as 4-hydroxynonenal adduct nitrotyrosine and poly(ADP-ribose) accumulation and 12/15-lipoxygenase overexpression in peripheral nerve and dorsal root ganglion neurons. A 6-week feeding with normal chow after 16 weeks on HFD alleviated tactile allodynia and essentially corrected thermal hypoalgesia and sensory nerve conduction deficit without affecting motor nerve conduction slowing. Normal chow containing the aldose reductase inhibitor fidarestat (16 mg x kg(-1) x day (-1)) corrected all functional changes of HFD-induced neuropathy. Similar to human subjects with pre-diabetes and obesity, HFD-fed mice develop peripheral nerve functional, but not structural, abnormalities and, therefore, are a suitable model for evaluating dietary and pharmacological approaches to halt progression and reverse diabetic neuropathy at the earliest stage of the disease.
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The objective of this study was to examine main and interactive effects of nutrient density (ND), feed form (FF; mash, pellet), and lighting program (12L:12D, 20L:4D) on production characteristics and meat yield of broilers raised to 35 d of age. Diets (starter, grower, and finisher) were formulated so that amino acid levels were in proportion to the dietary energy level. Lighting programs were initiated at 4 d of age. Body weight was not affected by ND when diets were fed in a pellet form but decreased in a linear manner with lower ND when fed as a mash. Final BW of birds fed mash were less than those of birds fed pellet diets. Feed to gain ratio decreased with increasing ND but was not affected by FF. Feed intake decreased with increasing ND and was lower for birds fed mash. The effect of ND on feed intake was less when birds were fed mash in contrast to pellet diets (P(ND x F) < 0.0001). Dietary ND had no effect on mortality, but feeding mash decreased mortality (3.8%) compared with feeding pelleted feed (5.6%). Lighting programs affected production characteristics independently of ND and FF. Use of 12L:12D reduced BW, feed to gain ratio, feed intake, and mortality compared with 20L:4D. Similarly, carcass components were not affected by ND when fed in pellet form but decreased with lower ND when fed as a mash. Overall, carcass yields were reduced when broilers were fed mash or provided with 12L:12D. Female birds had higher carcass yields and increased proportional breast meat deposition compared with males.
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An experiment was designed to test the ability of broiler chickens to equalize daily energy intake when proximate components of the diet were changed. A factorial arrangement was used to test effects of protein, fat, and fiber content in the diet. The simplest diet contained only corn and soybean meal to provide energy and protein. Protein contents were calculated to be 16.4, 18.2, and 20.0%, with added protein from a combination of corn gluten meal, fish meal, and peanut meal. Hydrolyzed fat was added at 0, 2.5, 5.0, and 7.5% of the diets. A combination of alfalfa meal, oats, and wheat middlings was used to increase the fiber of the corn soy diet by approximately 2 and 4%. The 36 combinations were fed as mash. In addition, 8 of the diets were fed as pellets. All diets were fed for 12 d from the time broilers reached approximately 1.2 kg. A total excreta collection was used to determine ME, and carcass analysis provided fat and energy content. When fed mash, only sex had a significant effect on grams of feed eaten per day. Sex and dietary fat content affected gain per day. Sex, fat, and fiber altered the kcal of ME eaten per day. Broilers fed 5% added fat ate approximately 10% more energy per day than those fed no added fat, and broilers fed 4% added fiber ate approximately 20% less ME than those fed no added fiber. A comparison of results from mash and pellets showed that only sex and form affected gain per day, feed per day, and kilocalories of ME eaten per day. For the mash and pellets, protein, fat, fiber, and several interactions affected the ME per gram; however, the ME per gram was similar for pellets and mash. The results suggest that the diet composition and form have a significant effect on the energy intake of broiler chickens.
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Semi-intensive free-range farm systems are common in Australia, and these systems frequently practise on-range feeding choice feeding. The objective of this study was to investigate the benefit of on-range choice feeding on flock performance, egg quality, and range use of free-range laying hens using black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens, BSF). A total of 160 mature ISA brown laying hens, previously determined to range daily, were allocated to a control group (control) or a treatment group (BSF) with various replicates depending on the parameter investigated. All hens were fed ad libitum indoors with a wheat-soy based diet formulated according to breed requirements. Black soldier fly hens were offered dried BSF larvae ad libitum on the range. Body weight, feed intake, BSF intake, egg production, feed conversion ratio, internal and external egg quality parameters, and individual range use using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology was evaluated. Black soldier fly hens consumed on average 15 ± 1.7 g BSF larvae/hen per day. There were no differences between BSF and control hens for any of the performance parameters obtained (all P > 0.05). Egg weight, shell weight, and shell thickness of eggs from BSF hens were significantly lower (P = 0.003 and P = 0.001, and P = 0.004, respectively) compared to eggs from control hens. Egg yolk colour was significantly paler in eggs from BSF hens (P < 0.001). No significant ranging differences between the BSF and control hens were observed (all P > 0.05) except BSF hens showing longer total maximum time for a single visit to the range (P = 0.011). In conclusion, the average intake of BSF larvae indicated a good level of acceptance. Feed formulation should be adjusted for the intake of the choice fed source. The impact of choice-feeding on range use was minor.
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Background There is a growing interest in the use of insects in poultry, swine and aquaculture feed and pet food applications. All insects produce chitin‐based exoskeletons. Concerning the chitin content, precise determination in agricultural applications is crucial because it has favorable functional properties, but is also difficult to digest for some species of livestock. Three measurement methods were compared to determine the most reliable method for chitin content determination in different insects and selected H. illucens products: Acid detergent fiber (ADF) provides the fiber content, the acid detergent lignin (ADL) additionally considers the catecholic compounds. Acetyl group measurement relates the acetate to the chitin content. Results The highest chitin value via ADF measurement was determined for the T. molitor larvae (155 g kg‐1). Chitin values higher than 200 g kg‐1 revealed that H. illucens residues are a valuable source for chitin. For the larval exoskeletons, a chitin content for all measurement methods of more than 350 g kg‐1 was determined. In general, the ADF measurement is about 5% higher than the ADF‐ADL and acetyl measurements. ADF‐ADL and acetyl group determination are approximately equivalent measurement methods. Conclusion According to statistical analysis, ADF‐ADL represents a compromise between accuracy and equipment demand and is a suitable method to determine the chitin content of both, insects and their residues.
Article
This research investigated the ileum morphometry and enzymatic activity, the caecal volatile fatty acid production and the apparent nutrient digestibility in laying hens fed a Hermetia illucens larvae meal (HILM) as a complete replacement of diet soybean meal (SBM). The hens fed HILM exhibited a lower live weight (P<0.05) and a higher incidence of the full digestive tract (P<0.05) than the SBM group. In the duodenum, the maltase exhibited a higher (P<0.05) activity in the HILM group while the intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) had a higher (P<0.05) activity in the SBM group. In the ileum, the maltase and saccarase had a higher activity in the HILM hens (P≤0.01) while the IAP and ɤ glutamil transferase had a higher activity in the SBM group (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively). The HILM group showed a higher (P<0.05) villi height in the duodenum, while the opposite happened in the jejunum and the ileum. Only in the ileum the crypt depth resulted higher (P<0.05) in the HIML group than in the SBM. The higher production of acetate (P<0.05) and butyrate (P<0.01) affected the total production of volatile fatty acids of the HILM group. The coefficient of apparent digestibility of dry and organic matter as well as of crude protein was higher (P<0.05) in SBM group. The total replacement of SBM with HILM in laying hens diet from 24 to 45weeks of age resulted in a higher caecal production of butyric acid while the enzymatic activities of brush border membrane were partially reduced.
Article
Major hepatic metabolic pathways are involved in the control of food intake but how dietary proteins affect global metabolism to adjust food intake is incompletely understood, particularly under physiological challenging conditions such as lactation. In order to identify these molecular events, mice were fed a high-protein (HP) diet from pregnancy, during lactation until after weaning and compared with control fed counterparts. Liver specimens were analyzed for regulated proteins using 2-DE and MALDI-TOF-MS and plasma samples for metabolites. Based on the 26 differentially expressed proteins associated with depleted liver glycogen content, elevated urea and citrulline plasma concentrations, we conclude that HP feeding during lactation leads to an activated amino acid, carbohydrate and fatty acid catabolism while it activates gluconeogenesis. From pregnancy to lactation, plasma arginine, tryptophan, serine, glutamine and cysteine decreased, whereas urea concentrations increased in both groups. Concomitantly, hepatic glycogen content decreased while total fat content remained unaltered in both groups. Consideration of 59 proteins differentially expressed between pregnancy and lactation highlights different strategies of HP and control fed mice to meet energy requirements for lactation by adjusting amino acid degradation, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, citrate cycle, but also ATP-turnover, protein folding, secretion of proteins and (de)activation of transcription factors.
Article
Housing conditions, body weight, leg problems and pain influence behaviour of broilers. Apart from the physical ability, little is known about the motivation to perform behaviour. The distinction between motivation and ability is relevant as a lack of motivation has consequences for the interpretation of, e.g. the observed immobility in terms of compromised welfare. A runway experiment with fast growing broilers was conducted to investigate the influence of sex and type of feed on motivation and ability to walk for a food reward (mealworm) without depriving the birds from feed before testing. Twenty-four males and 24 females fed with two types of feed, conventional or free-range (less energy and protein) feed, were individually tested in a 2 m long runway from four to seven weeks of age. Five bowls were placed in the runway, one at every 40 cm. Three sessions were applied within 1 week (1) control session: each bowl contained one mealworm; (2) frustration session: the first four bowls were empty, the last bowl contained five mealworms, and (3) obstacle session: each bowl contained one mealworm and 10 cm high obstacles were placed between the bowls. Weekly, body weight and feed consumption were measured and gait score was assessed of each individual. Over all weeks, birds walked faster in frustration sessions than in control or obstacle sessions and faster in control than in obstacle sessions. Birds sat more in obstacle than in control sessions, indicating that ability to walk was affected by the difficulty of the task. Males walked faster in control and obstacle sessions than females, despite the higher body weight. The number of vocalisations in the runway decreased over time and males vocalised more than females. In both sexes, free-range fed birds vocalised more than conventionally fed birds. Differences between frustration and control sessions and obstacles and control sessions at individual level within a week were also measured, called the motivation and the ability effect. Concluded is that sex and type of feed have effects on different measures in the runway. Male broilers walked faster to a food reward and vocalised more than females. The role of type of feed was ambiguous. It did not influence body weight, walking speed or gait score, but conventionally fed birds sat more and had a higher latency to leave the start box and to reach the last bowl, and free-range fed birds vocalised more. No sex or feed differences were found for the motivation and the ability effect. That means that frustration and obstacles had similar impact on both sexes and both types of feed and that sex differences in walking speed probably were a result of physical differences (males are stronger and bigger).
Pages 1−147 Broiler Management Handbook. Aviagen
  • Aviagen
Aviagen. 2018. Pages 1−147 Broiler Management Handbook. Aviagen, Newbridge, UK.
Ross Broiler: Nutrition Specifications
  • Aviagen
Aviagen. 2019. Ross Broiler: Nutrition Specifications. Aviagen, Huntsville, AL.
Performances of local poultry breed fed black soldier fly larvae reared on horse manure
  • N Moula
  • M.-L Scippo
  • C Douny
  • G Degand
  • E Dawans
  • J.-F Cabaraux
  • J.-L Hornick
  • R C Medigo
  • P Leroy
  • F Francis
Moula, N., M.-L. Scippo, C. Douny, G. Degand, E. Dawans, J.-F. Cabaraux, J.-L. Hornick, R. C. Medigo, P. Leroy, and F. Francis. 2018. Performances of local poultry breed fed black soldier fly larvae reared on horse manure. Anim. Nutr. 4:73-78.
VDLUFA-Methodenbuch Band III, Die chemische Untersuchung von Futter-mittelnVDLUFA-Verlag
  • C Naumann
  • R Bassler
  • R Seibold
  • K Barth
Naumann, C., R. Bassler, R. Seibold, and K. Barth. 1997. VDLUFA-Methodenbuch Band III, Die chemische Untersuchung von Futter-mittelnVDLUFA-Verlag, Darmstadt, Germany.