Insects in chicken nutrition. A review
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Department of Animal Science, Kamýcká 129, CZ165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
Increasing chicken meat production needs an alternative and easily available protein source as a potentional substitute for soybean meal or fishmeal. The insect meals seem to be the most appropriate alternative. Of all insect species, Tenebrio molitor, Hermetia illucens and Musca domestica are the most suitable species for commercial exploitation in poultry feed. On the basis of numerous studies, insect meals contain sufficient nutrients (high quality protein and fat) for broiler production. Potential of insect meals used for feed of chickens is discussed based on published data. Many reviews summarizing the latest insights about the insect meals as an alternative protein source in poultry have been written. However, the present work describes not only the insect production, nutritional value and digestibility of the insect meals, but mainly the effect on performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of chickens fed insect meals, which has not been in any review summarized yet. The study describes also the risks and safety of the insect meals. Based on numerous studies, insect meals can have a positive influence on growth without negative impact on carcass and meat quality characteristics.