Black soldier fly larva as a feed ingredient
Finding alternative feed ingredients to reduce the dependence of animal agriculture systems on cereal grains and soybean meal while increasing food animal production is imperative. Black soldier fly larva has been used very successfully in aquaculture. However, its use in poultry production has been limited due to a lack of research and governmental approval of it as a feed ingredient for poultry. In September of this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended the expansion of the dried black soldier fly ingredient listing to include feeding it to poultry. The goals of research conducted by UGA poultry scientists were to 1) establish the nitrogen corrected true metabolizable energy value and digestible amino acid values of dried black soldier fly larva as these values are essential for formulating diets that meet the nutrient requirements of poultry, 2) identify potential production and processing practices to improve the suitability of this ingredient for poultry diets, and 3) prove that black soldier fly larva could be incorporated in broiler diets to replace part of the dietary corn and soybean meal without compromising animal growth and feed efficiency. Overall, the results indicate that as commercial production practices are altered to increase the suitability of black soldier fly larva as an ingredient for poultry diets, it will have tremendous potential to decrease the reliance on cereal grains and soybean meal in poultry production. In addition, because black soldier fly larva can convert organic waste into high quality nutrient stores, this allows production of black soldier fly larva to be worldwide, and for dried black soldier fly larva to be paired with less nutrient dense locally produced feed ingredients to support the expansion of poultry production in areas of the world where cost effective feed availability inhibits poultry production.