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Growth, nutrient uptake, blood metabolites and bone properties in broilers consuming feed with mineral-enriched whole black soldier fly larvae

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posted on 2024-06-13, 07:45 authored by M.M. Seyedalmoosavi, G. Daş, M. Mielenz, S. Maak, P. Wolf, C.C. Metges

The recycling of minerals is crucial for the future circular agriculture. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) can accumulate minerals in their body. This study investigated the effects of adding mineral-enriched BSFL, grown on substrates containing sewage sludge recyclates (SSR), to broiler feed to reintroduce minerals from waste streams currently subject to regulatory restrictions back into the nutrient cycle. Feed, nutrient, mineral and heavy metal intake, growth, blood metabolites and immunoglobulins, bone characteristics and mineral status of broilers were studied in response to different mineral-enriched BSFL supplements. Eighty newly-hatched mixed-sex Ross 308 chicks were divided into four groups, with six replicate pens per group. BSFL used in the broiler experiment were grown either on a modified Gainesville fly diet (FD) (L-FD) or on FD supplemented with 4% of sewage sludge biochar (L-BCH), or on the FD supplemented with single-superphosphate SSR (L-SSP). All broilers were fed age-specific diets and either had no access to BSFL (CON) or received 15% of CON birds’ feed intake as defrosted BSFL from three different sources. Inclusion of 15% of mineral-enriched whole BSFL in broiler rations had no adverse effects on growth performance parameters, nutrient intakes, nutrient conversion efficiency, plasma metabolites and immunoglobulins (P > 0.05). Birds in BSFL supply groups had higher serum Ca concentrations than CON birds (P < 0.05). L-BCH supplied birds had a lower serum P than CON birds (P < 0.05). Tibial characteristics and mineral status of birds were not affected by larvae supply (P > 0.05). Heavy metal intake (manganese, iron, zinc, copper, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) of the birds was not affected by dietary treatments (P > 0.05). In conclusion, 15% of mineral-enriched-BSFL reared on SSP can be included in broiler diets for 42 experimental days without adverse effects on nutrient intakes, growth performance parameters and bone condition.

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