Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)
Sustainable feed resources are what farmers would opt for in an economy but oftentimes, because of poor evidence a particular feed ingredient introduced to farmers is mostly sidelined.
However, with time it gradually gains popularity and gets eventually incorporated into farming systems.
This is what happened to maggot meal: after various scientific activities being carried out, maggot meal has gained popularity as a high protein source.
Today’s edition focuses on maggot meal as a feed ingredient and its advantages for the livestock industry.
What are maggots?
Maggots are larvae from the Musca domestica also known as domestic fly. Studies date back as early as the year 2000, since then more work and better ways of improvement have been carried out extensively.
Characteristics of maggots
- Basically, they can grow on a wide range of substrates, for example the rumen gut micro flora, kitchen refuse, livestock manure and many more you can think of.
- Further characterized by a shorter life cycle, when compared to the production of fishmeal and soybean meal, which have high protein content. Traditionally, soybean meal has been used in feed formulation rations.
- Constitutes of three types: yellow mealworm, dark mealworm and the giant mealworm.
Advantages of maggot meal in livestock feeding
- They are quite affordable even at small scale production.
- They complement fish meal, soybean meal and have high nutritional value as well as to be rich in fats and minerals.
- They are capable of converting waste material into high protein source and subsequently reduce waste material in the environment through minor emissions of greenhouse gases.
- They can be used as a feed ingredient in livestock i.e., cattle, sheep and goats and also pond feed for fish. The production of meal worms must be followed by preset guidelines from nutritionist prior to consumption by intended livestock. Therefore, keeping in contact with veterinarians and nutritionists is key to success and healthier animals.
- Meal worm production is a component of sustainable farming. For instance, organic material left after harvesting meal worms can be further used as soil fertilizers. Hence, propagating nutrient recycling beneath the soil surface. Also, the use of not authentic substrates such as plastic or glass must be stifled as it may cause harm and disturb the process.
- Practicing maggots growing can be a learning ground for small projects for students, who may use various substrates and later compare yield and nutritive value.
To sum it all up, mass production of maggot meal ought to be practiced to help counter feed shortages in the livestock sector.
- Józefiak, Damian, et al. “1. Insects–a natural nutrient source for poultry–a review.” Annals of Animal Science 16.2 (2016): 297-313.
- Khan, Sohail Hassan. “Recent advances in role of insects as alternative protein source in poultry nutrition.” Journal of Applied Animal Research 46.1 (2018): 1144-1157.