Assessing the potential of insects to reduce the environmental impact of livestock production and improve livestock health and welfare in concert

Project: PhD

Project Details


Fast-growing broilers are often faced with disproportionate growth and accompanying inactivity. As a consequence, they suffer from numerous health (e.g. lameness, ascites) and welfare (e.g. inability to perform natural behaviour ) related problems. Likewise, piglets encounter several stressors during the weaning transition, including confrontation with a novel social, physical and nutritional environment. These stressors tend to result in impaired production performance (e.g. weight loss), health (e.g. diarrhoea) and welfare (e.g. maladaptive behaviour) post-weaning. Strategies aimed at improving broiler and piglet health and welfare often include environmental or nutritional enrichment. However, the outcomes of these strategies are variable and/or require considerable management changes. A novel strategy which could improve broiler and piglet health and welfare is the use of live Black Soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as combined nutritional and environmental enrichment. This desired resource could stimulate activity and exploration while serving as a sustainable feed component. Evaluation of current enrichment strategies suggests great potential for using live BSFL, however true effects on performance, health and welfare are yet to be determined.
Effective start/end date1/05/1813/01/23


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