RUMINANT NEWS

TEXAS RESEARCHERS TEST FEEDING INSECT MEAL TO CATTLE

If fish, poultry and even humans can eat insects, should cattle eat insect meal? A research team at Texas State University is set to find out. Texas State University assistant professor Merritt Drewery plans to begin experimenting with insect meal, specifically defatted black soldier fly larvae, as a protein supplement for steers this fall. Although perhaps less intuitive than feeding insects to animals such as poultry and fish, Drewery said she has reason to believe insects, and black solider flies in particular, could offer unique benefits when used in cattle diets. Preliminary test showed signs of improved digestion and increased feed intake similar to conventional protein. Insect mal suited for cattle because of multi-digestive system. The project will receive funding from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture in July, expect to begin feeding cattle a mix of diet (SBM, Insect meal, no protein supplement), this fall. The project expected to run two years (preliminary result may available by next summer).