Comparative evaluation of nutrient content of fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) larvae to other chicken feeds.
Fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda is a devastating pest of over 350 plant species especially the cereal crops such as, maize, sorghum and rice. The pest is currently posing threats to food security in Africa. FAW could be potential animal feed that can supplement chicken feed. However, there is little information on its nutritional profile as poultry feed. The aim of the study was to compare the nutrient content of FAW larvae to other chicken feeds. Proximate analysis was performed on air-dried samples of fall armyworm larvae in order to determine the crude fibre, crude protein, ash, ether extract and carbohydrate contents. Experimental data was compared to secondary data of other chicken feeds to determine the quality of fall armyworm as poultry feed. The results indicated that FAW had crude protein content of (36.9 - 63.54)%, crude fibre (9.1 - 9.6)%, fat (17.8 - 22.9)%, ash (5.6 - 7.4)% and carbohydrates (1.65 - 3.3)%. From the findings, FAW larvae have nutrients in sufficient quantities to be considered as an alternative source of protein for chicken diets. Therefore, the study recommends use of FAW for chicken feeding.