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News 9330 views 2 commentslast update:14 Jan 2016

Feeding live insects to chickens - a Dutch experiment

Dutch feed producer ForFarmers and the Department of Entomology at Wageningen UR, the Netherlands have together launched a trial in which broiler chickens are being fed live insects.

Insects are rich in protein. With this trial, both parties want to investigate whether the broiler chicks grow healthy and at the right pace when they receive live insects as an addition to the feed.

The trial is being carried out at the ForFarmers pilot plant in Nijkerk, the Netherlands with 1,000 chicks. The animals are divided in to 4 different groups, allocated 4 different diets.

Watch the video of feeding live insects to chicks here

The parties involved hope to make a positive step forward regarding sustainability by encouraging chickens in their natural behaviour. The first results are expected at the end of September. Even if the results are positive, it will take some time before this feeding regime will be implemented in practice, because its application is fairly costly.

Kirsten Graumans


  • Fabio Soller

    It is ludicrous that we need to do research and request approval from regulators to feed animals the foods they evolved eating for milleniums... Anyways, it is sad that humans in general have really lost the connection with nature.

  • L H

    The new 'Biosecurity Act 2014' in the state of Queensland Australia prohibits the feeding of 'animal matter' to farmed animals including poultry. After detailed arguments were put to the government, backed by expert avian veterinaries, aviary birds (non-commercially-farmed) were exempt from this ban. It will be interesting to see whether this trend toward insect protein will progress in Australia.

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