‘High-protein fly larvae an alternative to chicken and fish feed’

BACHOK: Breeding flies may sound peculiar, but in aquaculture, black soldier fly (BSF) larvae are an alternative source of chicken and fish feed.

Universiti Malaya (UM) social engineering research group senior lecturer Dr Norhidayah Mohd Taufek said based on her four-year research, BSF or its scientific name Hermetia Illucens, is a cheaper alternative to buying livestock feed from the market.

The researcher from the UM Biological Science Institute said the larvae collected to feed chicken and fish were also high in protein, which is beneficial to the animals.

She said one gram of the flies’ eggs costs only RM10 and the eggs could be recycled to generate up to 3kg of larvae.

Norhidayah said BSF’s lifecycle was around 45 days and the larvae could be harvested after 15 to 18 days.

“The breeding process depends on the area where there are suitable organic wastes and the process is very easy.

“For example, put about one gram of BSF larvae inside a basin with food waste and let them grow into one-inch sized pupae.

“At this time, they can already be harvested to be made into feed. The larvae are easy to breed and clean as they are not a disease-vector and are not dangerous to humans, ” she said.

Norhidayah said BSF also decomposed organic waste that could be turned into fertiliser, while for fish food, BSF could be made into flour and then pellets using a formula.

She added that BSF could be found almost all over the world and were easy to breed, especially in the tropical weather of Malaysia.

“BSF have been widely used for several years in Selangor, however in Kelantan it is just starting, ” she said, adding that she was cooperating with Ain Aquaculture Sdn Bhd, a marine fish hatchling and breeding centre to conduct workshops for locals who were interested in breeding the larvae. — Bernama

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