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IJAVMS. 2012; 6(5): 368-376


TERMITES AND EARTHWORMS AS POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF PROTEIN FOR POULTRY

John Cassius Moreki, Bamphitlhi Tiroesele.

Abstract
This study set out to review the nutritional composition of termites and earthworms and their potential value as alternative sources of animal protein in poultry diets. It has been demonstrated that termites and earthworms have high nutritional value and that they may be an important source of protein, carbohydrate, fats, vitamins and minerals. In Botswana, feed costs account for over 70% of the total production costs in commercial poultry production, as nearly all the ingredients used in manufacturing feeds are imported. This makes the prospect of utilizing insects which are available in nature for most part of the year as alternative sources of proteins feasible. Nutritionally, it has been shown that termites and earthworms compare favourably with fish meal, which is the main animal protein source in poultry diets. Based on the high nutritive value of termites and earthworms, it seems that there is need to carry out extensive research on their production in order to enable their use in smallholder poultry production.

Key words: Earthworms, fish meal, nutrition, poultry, smallholder poultry production, termites



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