Tenebrio molitor and Zophobas morio Full-Fat Meals in Broiler Chicken Diets: Effects on Nutrients Digestibility, Digestive Enzyme Activities, and Cecal Microbiome
Department of Animal Nutrition, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wołyńska 33, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
HiProMine S.A., Poznańska 8, 62-023 Robakowo, Poland
Division of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture, Institute of Zoology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71c, 60-625 Poznań, Poland
Department of Preclinical Sciences and Infectious Diseases, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wołyńska 35, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
Department of Poultry Science, Faculty of Animal Bioengineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 5, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 November 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 7 December 2019 / Published: 12 December 2019
In animal nutrition, the links among health status, alimentary tract factors and gastrointestinal tract (GIT) integrity are increasing in importance. It has been documented that insects are useful as novel ingredients in poultry diets because they contain bioactive compounds such as chitin, melanin, and antimicrobial peptides, in addition to protein and dietary fat, and these bioactive compounds have been reported to modulate the GIT microbiome. From this perspective, insects could be promising functional feed additives to stimulate GIT health through inhibition of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of the addition of a small amount of insects to the broiler chicken diet on the GIT microbiota composition and activity. Six experimental groups were used in the current study, i.e., two different levels (0.2% and 0.3%) of yellow mealworm and super mealworm full-fat meals, a positive control with salinomycin addition, and a negative control without any additives. Insect full-fat meals were capable of improving the health status of the birds by a positive reduction in potentially pathogenic bacteria in the cecal digesta and stimulation of the GIT microbiome to produce enzymes, especially glycolytic enzymes.