The commercial broiler chicken strains are the result of successful selection programmes. Most of the problems related to welfare arise from the high growth rate and body weight. The use of environmental enrichments in intensive farming could have a positive effect on birds by increasing animal welfare. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of Hermetia illucens (HI) and Tenebrio molitor (TM) live larvae in the diets of broiler chickens on growth performance, carcass yield and health status. A total of 180 four-day-old male broiler chickens (Ross 308) were randomly allotted to 18 pens. Each pen was assigned to one of the three dietary treatments (6 replicates/treatment, 10 birds/replicate) as follows: (i) control diet (C): commercial feed (two feeding phases: starter [4–11 days] and grower [12–38 days]), (ii) HI: C + 5% of the expected daily feed intake (DFI) HI live larvae (calculated on dry matter [DM]) and (iii) TM: C + 5% of DFI TM live larvae (DM). At 39 days of age, birds were slaughtered. Growth performance parameters were overall not affected by dietary treatments, except for the grower phase feed conversion ratio (FCR) and the overall FCR being better in the TM broilers than the others (p < 0.01). No differences were observed for slaughtering performance and haematological and serum parameters, except for the spleen relative weight being higher (p < 0.01) in the birds administered with larvae when compared to the C group. Gut morphometric indexes and histopathological alterations were not influenced by insect larvae administration. In conclusion, the administration in limited quantities of HI and TM live larvae as environmental enrichment has no negative effects on broiler chicken growth performance and health status. A behavioural study could confirm that live insect larvae represent a novel natural environmental enrichment in broiler farming.

Black soldier fly and yellow mealworm live larvae for broiler chickens: Effects on bird performance and health status / Bellezza Oddon, S.; Biasato, I.; Imarisio, A.; Pipan, M.; Dekleva, D.; Colombino, E.; Capucchio, M. T.; Meneguz, M.; Stefania, B.; Barbero, R.; Gariglio, M.; Dabbou, S.; Fiorilla, E.; Gasco, L.; Schiavone, A.. - In: JOURNAL OF ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ANIMAL NUTRITION. - ISSN 0931-2439. - 105:S1(2021), pp. 10-18. [10.1111/jpn.13567]

Black soldier fly and yellow mealworm live larvae for broiler chickens: Effects on bird performance and health status

Dabbou S.;
2021

Abstract

The commercial broiler chicken strains are the result of successful selection programmes. Most of the problems related to welfare arise from the high growth rate and body weight. The use of environmental enrichments in intensive farming could have a positive effect on birds by increasing animal welfare. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of Hermetia illucens (HI) and Tenebrio molitor (TM) live larvae in the diets of broiler chickens on growth performance, carcass yield and health status. A total of 180 four-day-old male broiler chickens (Ross 308) were randomly allotted to 18 pens. Each pen was assigned to one of the three dietary treatments (6 replicates/treatment, 10 birds/replicate) as follows: (i) control diet (C): commercial feed (two feeding phases: starter [4–11 days] and grower [12–38 days]), (ii) HI: C + 5% of the expected daily feed intake (DFI) HI live larvae (calculated on dry matter [DM]) and (iii) TM: C + 5% of DFI TM live larvae (DM). At 39 days of age, birds were slaughtered. Growth performance parameters were overall not affected by dietary treatments, except for the grower phase feed conversion ratio (FCR) and the overall FCR being better in the TM broilers than the others (p < 0.01). No differences were observed for slaughtering performance and haematological and serum parameters, except for the spleen relative weight being higher (p < 0.01) in the birds administered with larvae when compared to the C group. Gut morphometric indexes and histopathological alterations were not influenced by insect larvae administration. In conclusion, the administration in limited quantities of HI and TM live larvae as environmental enrichment has no negative effects on broiler chicken growth performance and health status. A behavioural study could confirm that live insect larvae represent a novel natural environmental enrichment in broiler farming.
S1
Bellezza Oddon, S.; Biasato, I.; Imarisio, A.; Pipan, M.; Dekleva, D.; Colombino, E.; Capucchio, M. T.; Meneguz, M.; Stefania, B.; Barbero, R.; Gariglio, M.; Dabbou, S.; Fiorilla, E.; Gasco, L.; Schiavone, A.
Black soldier fly and yellow mealworm live larvae for broiler chickens: Effects on bird performance and health status / Bellezza Oddon, S.; Biasato, I.; Imarisio, A.; Pipan, M.; Dekleva, D.; Colombino, E.; Capucchio, M. T.; Meneguz, M.; Stefania, B.; Barbero, R.; Gariglio, M.; Dabbou, S.; Fiorilla, E.; Gasco, L.; Schiavone, A.. - In: JOURNAL OF ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ANIMAL NUTRITION. - ISSN 0931-2439. - 105:S1(2021), pp. 10-18. [10.1111/jpn.13567]
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