Growth performance and meat composition of rabbits fed diets supplemented with silkworm pupae meal

Andrzej Gugołek, Janusz Strychalski, Dorota Kowalska


Aim of study: To determine the effect of different dietary levels of silkworm pupae meal (SWPM) on the growth performance of broiler rabbits and the chemical composition of their meat.

Area of study: Southern Poland, Europe.

Material and methods: Ninety Termond White rabbits were divided into three feeding groups. Control group rabbits were fed a diet containing 10% soybean meal (SBM). In the first experimental group, rabbits received a diet containing 5% SBM and 5% SWPM. The diet administered to the second experimental group was supplemented with 10% SWPM.

Main results: Both partial and complete replacement of SBM with SWPM in diets contributed to a decrease in the final body weights of rabbits (2416.50 and 2390.78 vs. 2616.78 g), average daily gains (30.23 and 30.52 vs. 33.12 g) and feed intake (5.61 and 5.15 vs. 6.51 kg), but it improved the feed conversion ratio (3.28 and 3.05 vs. 3.41 kg/kg). Rabbits fed diets supplemented with SWPM were characterized by lower values of selected carcass parameters such as carcass weight and dressing percentage. Experimental diets had no significant effect on the proximate chemical composition of meat, but they increased the levels of fatty acids C18:3, C22:5 and C22:6.

Research highlights: The results of this study can be put into practice to replace conventional protein and fat sources in rabbit diets with insect meals (SWPM) in the production of rabbit meat for human consumption. Our findings can also contribute to the recycling of sericultural waste.


insect meal; alternative animal diets; meat quality; health-promoting animal products

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2019173-14882