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Black soldier fly larva fat inclusion in finisher broiler chicken diet as an alternative fat source

  • A. Schiavone (a1) (a2), S. Dabbou (a1), M. De Marco (a1), M. Cullere (a3), I. Biasato (a1), E. Biasibetti (a1), M. T. Capucchio (a1), S. Bergagna (a4), D. Dezzutto (a4), M. Meneguz (a5), F. Gai (a2), A. Dalle Zotte (a3) and L. Gasco (a5) (a2)...


The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of partial or total replacement of finisher diet soybean oil with black soldier fly (Hermethia illucens L.; HI) larva fat on the growth performance, carcass traits, blood parameters, intestinal morphology and histological features of broiler chickens. At 21 days of age, a total of 120 male broiler chickens (Ross 308) were randomly allocated to three experimental groups (five replicates and eight birds/pen). To a basal control diet (C; 68.7 g/kg as fed of soybean oil), either 50% or 100% of the soybean oil was replaced with HI larva fat (HI50 and HI100 group, respectively). Growth performance was evaluated throughout the trial. At day 48, 15 birds (three birds/pen) per group were slaughtered at a commercial abattoir. Carcass yield and proportions of carcass elements were recorded. Blood samples were taken from each slaughtered chicken for haematochemical index determination. Morphometric analyses were performed on the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Samples of liver, spleen, thymus, bursa of fabricius, kidney and heart were submitted to histological investigations. Growth performance, carcass traits, haematochemical parameters and gut morphometric indexes were not influenced by the dietary inclusion of HI larva fat. Histopathological alterations developed in the spleen, thymus, bursa of fabricius and liver and were identified in all of the experimental groups, but HI larva fat inclusion did not significantly affect (P>0.05) the severity of the histopathological findings. The present study suggests that 50% or 100% replacement of soybean oil with HI larva fat in broiler chickens diets has no adverse effects on growth performance or blood parameters and had no beneficial effect on gut health.


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