Partially defatted black soldier fly larva meal inclusion in piglet diets: Effects on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profile, gut morphology and histological features

Ilaria Biasato, Manuela Renna, Francesco Gai, Sihem Dabbou, Marco Meneguz, Giovanni Perona, Silvia Martinez, Ana Cristina Barroeta Lajusticia, Stefania Bergagna, Luca Sardi, Maria Teresa Capucchio, Enrico Bressan, Andrea Dama, Achille Schiavone, Laura Gasco

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34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2019 The Author(s). Background: The aim of this trial was to investigate the effects of different inclusion levels of a partially defatted black soldier fly (BSF, Hermetia illucens L.) larva meal on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profile, gut morphology and histological features of piglets. A total of 48 newly weaned piglets were individually weighed (initial body weight (IBW): 6.1 ± 0.16 kg) and randomly allocated to 3 dietary treatments (4 boxes as replicates/treatment and 4 animals/box). BSF larva meal was included at increasing levels (0% [BSF0], 5% [BSF5] and 10% [BSF10]) in isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets formulated for two feeding phases: I (from d 1 to d 23) and II (from d 24 to d 61). The weight gain (WG), average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated for each feeding phase and for the whole trial. The haematochemical parameters and nutrient digestibility of the piglets were also evaluated. A total of 3 piglets per box were slaughtered on d 61 and the slaughtered piglets were submitted to morphometric investigations and histopathological examinations. Results: No overall significant differences were observed for growth performance (P > 0.05), except for the ADFI of phase II, which showed a linear response to increasing BSF meal levels (P < 0.05, maximum for the BSF10 group). Dietary BSF meal inclusion did not significantly influence the blood profile, except as far as monocytes and neutrophils are concerned, and these showed a linear and quadratic response, respectively, to increasing BSF meal levels (P < 0.05, maximum for the BSF10 and BSF5 groups, respectively). On the other hand, the nutrient digestibility, gut morphology and histological features were not affected by dietary BSF meal inclusion (P > 0.05). Conclusions: The obtained results show that a partially defatted BSF larva meal can be used as a feed ingredient in diets for weaned piglets without negatively affecting their growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profile, gut morphology or histological features.
Original languageEnglish
Article number325
JournalJournal of Animal Science and Biotechnology
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Hermetia illucens L.
  • Histopathology
  • Insect meal
  • Performance
  • Weaning pigs

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