Nutrient digestibility of poultry viscera, poultry by-product meal, and mealworms in female mink (Neovision vision) feed
This research was originally conducted to meet the requirements of an undergraduate Honour’s Thesis by Kiran Fong in 2019 at Dalhousie University in the Faculty of Agriculture in the Department of Animal Science, Bible Hill, NS, Canada, titled, “Nutrient digestibility of poultry viscera, poultry by-product meal, and mealworms in female mink (Neovision vision) feed.” A manuscript for this research is currently under consideration by Animal - Open Space. Abstract Increasing cost of feed ingredients is a growing challenge in the mink industry. Determining nutrient digestibility can improve feed efficiency and decrease costs. This study measured the digestibility of crude protein, crude fat, ash, and dry matter in three protein sources including poultry by-product meal (PBPM), poultry viscera, and crushed mealworms using diatomaceous earth as an indicator. A control diet was made, and test diets were mixed in a 70:30 control diet:test ingredient ratio. Forty-six female mink housed in individual cages were fed experimental diets for five days, and fecal samples were collected and analyzed for nutrient residues compared to the diet composition to determine digestible nutrient levels. Significant differences (P<0.05) were found among the diets and ingredients in dry matter and ash digestibility, and among diets in crude fat digestibility, but no difference was found in crude protein digestibility. Overall, mealworms had the highest ash and dry matter digestibility (116.37% and 96.26%, respectively) compared to poultry viscera (1.04% and 77.29%, respectively) and PBPM (39.16% and 86.76%, respectively). PBPM had a lower fat digestibility (84.64%) than mealworms (94.78%) or poultry viscera (98.15%). The data generated provides nutritional information to assist in formulating any of the three ingredients into female mink diets as a protein source.