In commercial insectaries, large-scale production of rice moth, Corcyra cephalonica Stainton in pearl millet grain medium leads to an extensive accumulation of spent C. cephalonica larval medium (CLM). Experiments were conducted to determine whether in- clusion of CLM for corn in the standard broiler diet (SBD) could ensure normal growth and development of broilers. Chemical analysis revealed that CLM diets met the nutritional requirements as of SBD. CLM diet contained no aflatoxin as well. Biological experiments were conducted to study the suitability of CLM diet in different combinations with SBD at 100% + 0%, 75% + 25%, 50% + 50%, 25% + 75% and 0% + 100% w/w without any nutritional change, and after nutritional modification with corn starch. CLM replacement was based on the corn content of the basal diet. Birds preferred SBD 100% and SBD 75% + CLM 25% nutritionally unchanged diets, and showed higher growth rate and weight gain. These parameters were significantly lower in other diet combinations. Modified isoenergetic CLM based diets in all the combinations, however, contributed higher feed intake and resulted in more weight gain as of SBD. Furthermore, none of treatments in both experiments yielded bird mortalities. The experimental CLM diets except SBD 75% + CLM 25% in both experiments were cost effective and contributed lower diet cost/kg weight gain.

Introduction

In India, corn (Zea mays L.) is a major grain source in broiler diets and is known for its significant perfor- mance when combined with peanut and fishmeals. Cost-effective use of grains and by-products in poultry feed has been recognized important in recent years, due to increasing cost and discontinuous availability of dietary ingredients. Hence, it has become necessary to find low cost and copious organic waste materials to supply di- etary nutrients. Rice moth, Corcyra cephalonica Stainton (Pyralidae: Lepidoptera) is a storage pest. Eggs of C. cephalonica are used to hatch host insects for the large scale production of an entomophagous parasitoid, Trichogramma chilonis Ishii (Trichogrammatidae: Hymenoptera), which is an effective biological control agent for managing cotton bollworms, and sugarcane borers in India (Venugopal et al., 1993, 1995). Larvae of C. cephalonica are mass propagated in pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides L.) grain medium (Manjunath, 1988; Muthukrishnan, 1995). In a commercial insectary with a production target of 3.6–4.0 million eggs of C. cephalonica/day, about 500–600 kg of spent larval media of C. cephalonica (CLM) are accumulated/day. CLM are sterilized by pasteurization and usually discarded. Recycling CLM into useful products is an attractive solu- tion to effectively utilize the abundantly available waste at negligible cost and to avoid environmental hazards. Previous investigations have demonstrated that CLM could be recycled for fuel gas production and edible mushroom preparation (Muthukrishnan et al., 1996, 2000). In the present investigation, we attempted to ex- plore, for the first time, possibilities of including CLM for corn in broiler diets. Our objectives were to evaluate and develop nutritious CLM based broiler diets. There are no reports on the use of CLM as a broiler feedstuff; however, several other materials such as cotton seeds and peanut meals (El-Boushy and Raterink, 1989; Maliboungou et al., 1999), barley and canola seeds (Nwokolo and Sim, 1989), poultry litter (Rao et al., 1984; Gohain et al., 1993), sesame meal (Mamputu and Buhr, 1995), finger millet and canola extractions (Reddy, 1995), chaya leaf meal (Donkoh et al., 1999) and soybean meal (Refstie et al., 1999) have been incorporated in broiler diets.

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