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Amino acid digestibility of larval meal (Musca domestica) for broiler chickens

Work was undertaken to investigate the potential use of housefly (Musca domestica) larvae reared on broiler manure as a source of nutrition for poultry production in the United Kingdom. Nutritional analysis showed that larvae have a high (>45% dry wt.) protein content and a favorable amino acid profile that is rich in key amino acids, such as lysine and methionine. A broiler digestibility trial was carried out to determine the apparent ileal digestibility coefficients (AIDC) and true ileal digestibility coefficients (TIDC) of amino acids (AA) from insect larval meal (ILM) from M. domestica and fishmeal (FM) in broiler chickens. This was calculated using multiple linear regression technique based upon 3 inclusions of each protein source in a semisynthetic diet. One-hundred-forty-four day-old male (Ross 308) broilers were fed from hatch on a commercial starter diet for 20 days. Experimental diets were fed from d 21 to 28, and feed intakes were measured daily. On d 28, the trial was terminated, ileal digesta were collected for the determination of AIDC and TIDC of AA, and inflammatory responses (gizzard erosion and eye discharge) were measured. No significant differences were observed in digestibilities between protein sources for any AA. Furthermore, ILM feeding did not induce gizzard erosion or eye discharge at any inclusion. These results provide strong evidence to suggest that ILM of the common housefly can provide a successful alternative protein source to FM in broiler diets.