Recently, the US FDA and Association of American Feed Control Officials approved Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSFL) as a feed ingredient for poultry. The objectives of this work were 1) to evaluate the nutritional profile of BSFL oil and meal in laying hens, and 2) measure the impact of the BSFL treatments on hen performance and egg quality. In 2 experiments, BSFL oil and meal were fed to replicate hens from 43 to 47 wk and from 51 to 55 wk of age. The hens were fed isocaloric, isonitrogenous diets with 3 treatment levels of BSFL oil (1.5, 3, and 4.5%, Exp. 1) or BSFL meal (8, 16 and 24%, Exp. 2). Data were analyzed by one-factor ANOVA for the main effect of diet and Tukey's multiple comparison for mean separation when significant. Exp. 1 results suggest BSFL oil could readily substituted for soybean oil with commercial hens at inclusion levels up to 4.5%. ADFI, BW, egg production, FCR, and egg weight were not impacted by the oil treatments (P > 0.05). Yolk color among hens fed the BSFL oil was greater averaging 7.88 compared to 7.37 from Control hen eggs (P = 0.0001). Exp. 2 diet formulation replaced soybean oil and meal with BSFL meal, and some additional corn was used in the higher BSFL diets. Diet amino acid balance at the highest level of inclusion (24% BSFL meal) indicates arginine and tryptophan are limiting and ADFI, BW and egg production were reduced (P < 0.05). Egg production averaged 85.14% for the Control, 8 and 16% BSFL meal hens and was significantly greater than hens fed 24% meal at 77.01%. However, 8 and 16% BSFL meal levels had no negative impact on performance and were not significantly different than the Controls. Yolk color was again higher among the meal treatments compared to the control (P = 0.0351). These experiments indicate that BSFL oil and meal can be used as dietary energy, protein and amino acids for hen maintenance, egg production and yolk coloration, although there may be upper limits of dietary inclusion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology