News 1063 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Chinese broilers go for grasshoppers

Chinese researchers have evaluated grasshopper meal as a protein source for broiler diets. The meal could be added to the feed at a rate of 15% with no adverse effects on performance.

On a dry matter basis Chinese grasshoppers (Acrida cinerea (Thunberg)) contain 654 grams of crude protein, 83 grams of fat and 87 grams of chitin per kg.

Amino acid content
The researchers found that the content of amino acids compared well with fish meal; the methionine, cystine and lysine concentrations in the grasshopper meal were 17, 7 and 38 g per kg on dry matter basis respectively.
True amino acid digestibility was determined in cecectomised roosters and was 0.97 for methionine, 0.84 for cystine and 0.95 for lysine. The nitrogen-corrected true metabolizable energy (TMEn) of the grasshopper meal was 11.34 MJ/kg.

Fatty acids
When maize–insect–soybean meal diets were formulated on an equal CP and TMEn basis, up to 150 g per kg the grasshopper meal could replace control diet without any adverse affects on broiler weight gain, feed intake, or gain:feed ratio from 8 to 20 days post hatching.
The fatty acid analysis showed polyunsaturated fatty acids of the grasshopper meal to be present in high quantities, and the total content of oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids was 0.8449 of total fatty acids. The results indicated that the insect could be an acceptable raw material for feed and food.

The research was published in the May issue of Animal Feed Science and Technology.

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