Ever wondered about the benefits of feeding insects to your flock? Why do some flock owners insist on introducing insects as a feed supplement?
Feeding dried larvae to chickens is a topic that is relevant and interesting for a number of reasons. Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae, also known as insect protein, are a sustainable and nutritious feed option for chickens that can provide a range of benefits. Insect protein is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional protein sources like soy and corn, as it is more sustainable and cost-effective. Insects require less land, water, and feed to produce, and they have a lower environmental impact compared to traditional protein sources. In addition, insects are rich in protein and other essential nutrients, including amino acids, essential fatty acids, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients can help support the overall health and well-being of chickens.
By feeding dried larvae to chickens, you can help support their nutritional needs while also contributing to a more sustainable food system.
II. The benefits of feeding dried larvae to chickens Dried black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) can be a nutritious and sustainable feed option for chickens. Here are a few benefits of feeding dried BSFL to chickens:
High protein content: Dried BSFL are high in protein, making them an excellent source of this essential nutrient for chickens. Protein is essential for the growth, development, and maintenance of chickens' muscles, feathers, and other tissues.
Nutrient-rich: In addition to protein, dried BSFL are also rich in other essential nutrients, including amino acids, essential fatty acids, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients can help support the overall health and well-being of chickens.
Sustainable: Dried BSFL are considered a more sustainable feed option compared to traditional protein sources like soy and corn. BSFL require less land, water, and feed to produce, and they have a lower environmental impact.
Cost-effective: Dried BSFL can be more cost-effective compared to other protein sources, especially when considering the long-term environmental and economic costs of traditional protein sources like soy and corn.
III. How to use dried larvae as chicken feed
Choose a high-quality product: While there are many companies starting to sell insect products, it is important to seek our a recognised, licensed brand. There are many unregulated insect manufacturers based overseas that use plastic & heavy metal contaminated food waste to feed the insects. This results in a poor-quality dried larvae product that is harmful to the chicken's health.
Follow feeding instructions: As a general rule of thumb, it's recommended to feed chickens a balanced diet that consists of approximately 20% protein. If you are using dried larvae as a protein source, you will need to calculate the amount of dried larvae to use based on the protein content of the product and the overall protein needs of your chickens. For example, if you are using a dried larvae product that has a protein content of 50%, and your chickens need a total of 20% protein in their diet, you will need to feed them approximately 40% dried larvae (50% protein / 20% protein = 2.5, 2.5 x 20% protein = 40% dried larvae).
Gradually introduce dried larvae to the diet: If you are introducing dried larvae to your chickens' diet for the first time, it's a good idea to do so gradually. Start by adding a small amount of dried larvae to their feed and gradually increasing the amount over a period of a few weeks. This will give your chickens time to adjust to the new protein source and help prevent any digestive issues..
Monitor chickens' health and behavior: Keep an eye on your chickens' health and behavior after introducing dried larvae to their diet. If you notice any changes in their appetite, weight, or overall health, you may need to adjust the amount of dried larvae you are giving them.
Insects provide an array of benefits to the environment while supporting the healthy growth of your flock. As a flock owner, I have personally tried feeding dried larvae to our chickens and had positive results. It's easy and convenient to incorporate the Black Soldier Fly Dried Larvae into the feed.
If you are reading this, try feeding dried larvae to your chickens and share your experiences with you or with the community! I am sure everyone will benefit from your experience.
In my next blog post, I would be writing more on how to the differences between using mealworms and dried larvae products, feeding guidelines, as well as other helpful resources.