Effects of diet composition on growth performance and feed conversion efficiency in Alphitobius diaperinus larvae
Alphitobius diap]erinus has been recommended for mass-production as feed in a rearing facility because of its small size and short biological cycle. This study evaluated the effects of wheat bran and casein or their blend as insect diets on growth performance and feed conversion efficiency of A. diaperinus larvae in the laboratory. Casein and wheat bran were the protein and carbohydrate sources of choice, respectively, for diet preparation. Five experimental diet treatments to be tested were designed as follows: control (100% casein), T1 (75% casein +25% wheat bran), T2 (50% casein +50% wheat bran), T3 (25% casein +70% wheat bran), and T4 (100% wheat bran). A total of 150 new hatched larvae were randomly allotted to one of the five dietary treatments, with three replicates (10 hatched larvae per replicate). The standard colonies were composed of 10 hatched larvae, without distinction of sex, reared in a plastic box (14×8×5 cm) provided with aeration holes on the top. The evaluation of A. diaperinus larvae included growth performance and feed efficiency. Using casein and wheat bran blends for diet had a positive effect on weight gain and feed conversion ratio of A. diaperinus larvae, including an increase in average larval survival and average larval weight. Using casein and wheat blends (75% casein +25% wheat bran or 25% casein +70% wheat bran) as insect-rearing diet will allow effective utilization of the feed for poultry when using the edible portion of mealworms before reaching the pupae stage.
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