Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Insect larvae meal (Hermetia illucens) as a sustainable protein source of canine food and its impacts on nutrient digestibility and fecal quality

Insect larvae meal has been proposed as a sustainable protein source for animal diets. This study aimed to provide information on including black soldier fly larvae meal (BSFL; Hermetia illucens) in comparison to poultry meal (PM) in the canine diet with regard to digestibility and fecal characteristics. In light of this trend, the levels of PM or BSFL meal were added to replace about 30% of dry matter of the basic extruded diet. Six Beagle dogs (BW 9.64 kg) were included in a cross-over experiment. Dogs fed a BSFL meal-based diet showed higher (p < 0.05) apparent protein digestibility (82.3%) compared to those offered a PM-based diet (80.5%). Apparent digestibility for fat was higher (p < 0.05) in groups fed the BSFL meal-based diet (94.5%) compared to those offered the PM-based diet (91.6%). The fecal consistency scores for dogs fed both diets were within an acceptable range (well-formed and firm). Fecal dry matter content was higher (p < 0.05) for dogs fed the PM-based diet (33.0%) compared to those offered the BSFL meal-based diet (28.0%). Including BSFL meal in dog food can be an appropriate source of protein without any negative effects on nutrient digestibility and fecal quality.

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