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