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Safety Of Mealworm Meal In Layer Diets And Their Influence On Gut Morphology

Ondrej Stastnik, Jakub Novotny, Andrea Roztocilova, Petr Kouril, Vojtech Kumbar, Julius Cernik, Libor Kalhotka, Leos Pavlata, Lubor Lacina, Eva Mrkvicova

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The main objective of this study was to verify the safety of mealworm meal in the feed of laying hens from 17 to 42 weeks of age. Therefore, the feed mixtures were tested in terms of microbiological stability, fungal and mycotoxin content and selected parameters of hens’ intestinal morphology and physiology were monitored. The experiment was carried out with 30 Lohmann Brown Classic hens. Hens were divided by body mass into three equal groups with 10 replicates per treatment. The two experimental groups received feed mixtures containing 2% and 5% yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) meal. The third group was a control group which had 0% of mealworm meal in the diet. Diets with 2% and 5% of mealworm meals did not affect the length of villi and microbiome of the caecum. The highest digesta viscosity from the ileum was found in the group with 5% mealworm, which may indicate a slower passage of the digesta through the digestive tract. Based on our results, it may be concluded that the proportion of mealworm meals does not deteriorate the quality of feeds. Mealworm meal does not negatively affect microbial stability in experimental feeds. Therefore, it can be recommended the two and (or) five percent of mealworm meal inclusion in hen’s diet.