Black soldier fly as feeds for quail and native pigs explored

To identify the nutritional value and possibility of using black soldier fly as feed ingredient for native pigs and quail, the DA-Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen) and University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu will be implementing a 9-month and one-year project, respectively, funded through DA-BAR in the second quarter of 2023 and to be implemented in second half of the year.

Often confused with wasp, the black soldier fly is a common insect found worldwide. It feeds on a variety of  organic matter such as animal waste, decaying fruits, food waste, fish offal. The adult fly lacks functional mouthparts, stinger, or digestive organs, thus it could not bite, sting, or eat during its short lifespan. Black soldier fly only eats during its larval stage, and in the process it effectively converts organic wastes to edible insect biomass and organic compost. 

In other countries,  black soldier fly larvae are used to reduce animal manure from commercial swine and poultry facilities. The black soldier fly larvae’s nutritional value significantly depends on the type of waste substrates it consumes. Studies showed that the crude protein and fat content in black soldier fly larvae were highly comparable to soybean meal and other conventional protein sources. Black soldier fly larvae were reported to have a higher nutritional value than that of the soybean meal, which makes it a viable alternative protein source for animal feed particularly when combined with other protein sources to balance out any deficiencies in certain essential amino acids. 

DA-ZamPen aims to produce a low-cost feed for native pigs using black soldier fly as replacement for soybean meal. For the first phase of the project, they will determine the yield and nutritional quality of black soldier fly larvae reared using fruit and vegetable wastes, analyze the nutrient quality of starter to grower formulated feeds for native pigs with black soldier fly larvae meal, and assess the financial viability of formulated feeds with black soldier fly larvae meal.

While, UP Cebu aims to use black soldier fly larvae meal to formulate a high quality quail feed. Similar to first phase of the DA-ZamPen project, the university will optimize the production of black soldier fly larvae meal using fruits and vegetable wastes as feed substrates, analyze the black soldier fly larvae meal proximate composition, amino acid composition, and metabolizable energy, and evaluate the black soldier fly larvae meal production cost.

Both projects are expected to report the initial results early next year. The second phase of the projects will delve into development of the feed formulation for native pigs and quail, as well as the evaluation of its use in relation to the said animals’  growth performance and meat and egg quality. (### Rena s. Hermoso)