A key challenge remains to achieve organic and sustainable monogastric feeding strategies: meeting their protein and essential amino acid needs with locally sourced feedstuffs.
Feeding of insects offers new possibilities to overcome the protein gap in organic farming. Insect feeds offer a sustainable and local alternative to commonly used protein feed sources.
Live insects and larval meal can replace soy in feed rations. The amino acid profile of insects corresponds to the dietary needs of fish, poultry or swine animals, especially relating to amino acids like lysine, threonine, methionine, and tryptophan.
• Processed insect protein legally belongs to the group of ‘animal proteins’ and is currently not permitted in livestock feed; however, this legislsation does not apply to the feeding of live insects, as this is not a processed feed.
• Due the high fat content of the live larvae or worms there is an upper limit, which cannot be determined at present with the available results from the feeding trail.
• Feeding live mealworms (Tenebrio) (Fig. 2) to laying hens does not reduce aggressive behaviour (based on results of a FiBL trial, where hens received 10 g of live mealworms per day).