doi: 10.15389/agrobiology.2019.2.316eng

UDC: 636.4:636.087.69

Supported financially by Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (topics GZ АААА-А18-118021590136-7 and АААА-А18-118042490053-3)


NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES OF Hermetia illucens L., A NEW FEED PRODUCT FOR YOUNG PIGS (Sus scrofa domesticus Erxleben)

R.V. Nekrasov1, M.G. Chabaev1, A.A. Zelenchenkova1, A.I. Bastrakov2, N.A. Ushakova2

1Ernst Federal Science Center for Animal Husbandry,60, pos. Dubrovitsy, Podolsk District, Moscow Province, 142132 Russia, e-mail (✉ corresponding author),,;
2Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, 33, Leninskii prosp., Moscow, 119071 Russia, e-mail,

Nekrasov R.V.
Bastrakov A.I.
Chabaev M.G.
Ushakova N.A.
Zelenchenkova A.A.

Received November 4, 2018


In connection with the proven possibility of industrial breeding of black lion larvae Hermetia illucens L. on various organic substrates, it is of interest to study their nutritional properties and the possibility of effective use as a new feed product for the Russian livestock in the diets of different farm animal species. This paper is the first report in Russia about H. illucens larvae effects on growth of young pigs. The aim of the work was to assess the biochemical composition and nutritional value of H. illucens larvae depending on the composition of the substrate on which they were grown and to estimate efficiency of these larvae as a substitution for dietary fish meal in pigs’ (Sus scrofa domesticus Erxleben) feed. The fly H. illucens larvae were reared in the laboratory of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS on different substrates, i.e. distillers dried grains with solubles, feed wheat grain, wheat bran, crushed corn, mix of fruit and vegetable waste with grain bran, mixture of bird manure with litter. Bioconversion of substrates by larvae ranges from 41 % (bird droppings) to 77 % (crushed corn). Also, the use of different substrates leads to a different yield of dry biomass of larvae, from 54 g/kg (bird litter) to 240 g/kg (grain-fruit-vegetable mixture). The most preferable substrates for growing larval biomass are grain and grain-fruit-vegetable mixtures. The nutritional value of fly larvae varies depending on the substrate of culture. The exchange energy is within 15.32-21.41 MJ/kg, the amount of protein is in the range of 35.5-48.3 %, and fat level is 20.6-45.5 %. The larval protein contains a complete set of amino acids characteristic of animal protein, and also depends on the substrate used. The larvae age had a significant impact on their biochemical composition. Dry prepupa (last instar stage), when grown on feed wheat grain, showed higher protein content and lower body fat compared to larvae, i.e. 42.8 and 31.9 % vs. 37.6 and 38.3 %, respectively. The study of the effect of substitution of fish meal (5 %) for flour from larvae (7 %) in feed included estimates of digestibility of nutrients, balance and use of nitrogen by pigs. Physiological tests on animals (n = 6) were conducted during rearing pigs (F1 Large White × Landrace) in the conditions of physiological yard (Ernst Federal Science Center for Animal Husbandry). Compound feeds for animal experimental groups were balanced by nutritional and energy value, the level of minerals. The experiment was performed in two repetitions. It is shown that the replacement of fish meal with dry H. illucens larvae contributes to better use and deposition of nitrogen and, as a consequence, a higher bodyweight gain (504,95±17,94 vs. 475,92±22,93 g, p > 0,05). Dietary black soldier fly larvae had no statistically significant negative impact on the use of calcium and phosphorus by animals. Thus, the larvae of H. illucens fly can be considered as a rational alternative to traditional high-protein feeds that meet the nutritional needs of intensively growing young pigs.

Keywords: larvae, Hermetia illucens, feed, young pigs, digestibility, productivity.




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