The effects of cricket meal (Gryllus sigillatus) on the meat quality, growth, and internal morphology of broiler chickens
This research was originally conducted to meet the requirements of an MSc Thesis by Holly Fisher in 2021 at Dalhousie University in the Faculty of Agriculture in the Department of Animal Science, Bible Hill, NS, Canada, titled, “Evaluation of cricket meal (Gryllus sigillatus) and black soldier fly meal (Hermetia illucens) when incorporated in broiler chicken (Gallus gallus) diets," and specifically accompanies the chapter, "The impact of cricket meal (Grillus sigillatus) on the meat quality, growth, and internal morphology of broiler chickens," within the same thesis. Abstract Access to protein sources for use in animal feeds is vital to ensuring food security and efficient food production. This study investigates the dietary inclusion of cricket (Gryllus sigillatus) meal (CM) at dietary inclusion rates of 0% (non-medicated control; NM), 0% (medicated control), 5, 10, 15, and 20% CM (all non-medicated), and its impact on the growth parameters, internal morphology, and meat quality of Ross 308 broiler chickens (n=624 total; 26 birds/pen). Bird weight and feed intake were recorded weekly, and growth parameters were calculated. On days 13, 20, and 35, organ indices were calculated for three birds/pen. On day 35, meat quality was analyzed. The final average live weight of broilers fed 5% CM (1933.4 g) was lower than broilers fed the 10% CM (2063.5 g; P<0.05) and the 0% NM diets (2095.6 g; P<0.05). The total weight gain of chickens fed 5% CM (54.1 g/day) was lower than that of chickens fed all other treatments (P<0.05). A significant difference was observed in the small intestine of the chickens fed 5% CM (7.9%) on day 20 compared to all other treatments. Feed treatments did not influence meat texture or colour. Cooking loss in birds fed the 10% CM diet (35.5%) was significantly higher than that of birds fed the 0% NM control (31.9%). Results indicate that CM included in up to 20% of the diet had no detrimental impact on the growth, internal morphology, and meat quality of broiler chickens. Further research is required to determine whether a dietary inclusion of >20% CM will produce the same results.