BSF larvae for improved chickens' feather condition and health

Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSF) are a rich source of protein, omega 3-6-9 fatty acids and beneficial micronutrients. It is also an indispensable component of the natural diet of birds. Remember the picture from childhood? A country house, a green lawn, and hens that spend all day looking for something in the grass. They search for bugs, worms and other small insects that make up the basis of their diet.

Several international studies have shown that live BSF larvae in the birds’ diet provide a number of positive effects.

BSF larvae improve chick health
On most poultry farms, broiler chickens  do not move enough during the day, resulting in poor leg development. When fed with live BSF larvae, birds return to their feeding behavior in their natural environment: the chicks actively hunt for nutritious larvae and, as a result, get more physical activity throughout the day. This has a beneficial effect on leg health and improves the overall well-being of chickens, proves a study from Wageningen University.

BSF larvae improve feather condition
Kept on farms, many chickens demonstrate such harmful behavior as pecking at their feathers and those of their neighbors, which often leads to injury. Laying hens begin to peck at their feathers at a young age, caused by the lack of activity and a monotonous diet. In closed systems, birds have little to no access to live insects combined with a constant access to soy feed. As a result, laying hens eat throughout the day.

A Dutch study by Schothorst Feed Research showed that when live BSF larvae are added to the diet, chickens are much less likely to pluck feathers and peck other birds, because they are busy with a more interesting process - eating larvae.

Feed containing live larvae restores the natural behavior of chickens. BSF larvae are rich in protein and fat, making them a tastier alternative to soy feed. Chickens willingly spend the whole day foraging for larvae constantly trying to crawl away and escape. No time left for plucking feathers!

BSF larvae are rich in fat, protein and lauric acid, making them a good addition to the poultry diet.