Insects are an upcoming alternative and sustainable feed source for poultry and aquaculture pets. Insect proteins are recognized for their beneficial benefits in enhancing intestinal health and improving digestibility of livestock feeds. Livestock, like humans, require high-quality protein for optimal growth and development. Insects provide a rich source of protein, making them an excellent addition to animal feed.
Insects are highly nutritious and provide many essential nutrients that fish and chickens need for growth and overall health. They are a rich source of protein and are essential for muscle development, tissue repair and egg production. Insects also contain essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals required for optimal growth, immune function and reproduction.
natural part of diet
Insects are a natural part of the diet of many fish species, including wild and domesticated species. Fish naturally tend to eat insects because they provide a valuable source of nutrients in their natural habitat. By adding insects to fish feed, we provide them with a diet that matches their natural feeding behavior and nutritional needs.
Fish and chickens find insects very tasty, which means they are naturally inclined to eat them. Insects have unique flavors and aromas that attract these animals. This palatability factor makes insect feeds more attractive to fish and chickens, resulting in increased feed intake and better utilization of nutrients.
In terms of intestinal health, the structure and function of the livestock and digestive systems and the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota play an important role in the development of the gastrointestinal tract and intestinal morphology. A well-developed gastrointestinal tract will contain an appropriately balanced amount of beneficial and harmful microorganisms; therefore, this balance will improve nutrient utilization and drive immune system development.
Regulate gastrointestinal tract
The gut microbiota in animals and the gastrointestinal tract can be modulated by feeding them prebiotic or probiotic compounds that have effects on the animal and humoral immunity, increase nutrient utilization, and thus improve growth performance and overall health.
The presence of dietary fiber (mainly in the form of chitin produced in the exoskeleton) distinguishes insects from other sources of protein. In the intestines of livestock, chitin may be converted into more soluble and fermentable forms such as chitosan or chito-oligosaccharides, which act as prebiotics. This results in high digestibility. The digestive systems of livestock are efficient at breaking down and utilizing insect proteins. This means the nutrients in insect protein are easily absorbed by the animal, improving nutrient utilization and overall health.
In addition, insect proteins have a balanced amino acid structure. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are essential for various biological processes in animals. Insects contain a variety of amino acids, ensuring livestock receive complete and balanced nutrition. This helps support optimal growth, reproduction, and overall well-being.
In addition to their nutritional properties, insects also help promote intestinal health in livestock. Insects contain compounds such as chitin and antimicrobial peptides, which have been found to have a positive impact on the gut microbiota. The gut microbiome plays a vital role in nutrient absorption and overall immune function. By promoting healthy microbiota in the gut, insects help optimize intestinal health in livestock, thereby enhancing nutrient absorption and strengthening the immune system.
Reduce the need for antibiotics
Certain insect species have antimicrobial properties, either through compounds present in their bodies or the microorganisms they host, that can help fight harmful bacteria. By incorporating insects into animal feed, these natural antimicrobial properties help maintain a healthy gut microbiome and reduce the need for antibiotics.
In addition to livestock-specific benefits, using insect protein in animal feed is also consistent with sustainable development goals. Insect farming requires fewer resources than traditional livestock production. They consume less water, land and feed and therefore have a smaller impact on the environment. Reduced resource consumption helps create more sustainable agricultural systems and solves problems related to land use, water scarcity and greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, incorporating insects into animal feed supports the concept of a circular economy. Insects can feed on organic waste, such as food scraps or agricultural by-products. This not only reduces waste but also converts it into a valuable source of protein. By repurposing organic waste through insect farming, we can minimize environmental pollution and create a more closed-loop system.