Assessing the effect of selected hatching media and hatching conditions on hatchability of black soldier fly eggs
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Proteins sources consume over 75% of the costs on feed and they are increasingly becoming scarce and expensive. The current protein sources (soybean and fishmeal) for livestock are also consumed by humans hence unlimited for livestock production. In a bid to develop alternative cheap protein for livestock feeding, the black soldier fly (BSF) has been promoted. As a result, many commercial farms are now established in Uganda. However, production processes such as egg hatching have not been optimized and some farmers are questioning the cost-benefit of purchasing hatching incubators as well as the best hatching media. Based on the above demands this study set out to assess the hatchability of eggs under different hatching media, conditions of hatching whether room temperature or incubator and determine which hatching media and rearing condition generated the highest percentage hatchability BSF eggs and best neonate fresh weight. Two experiments were conducted, experiment one was hatching media and the following were compared commercial poultry feed (positive control), maize bran, brewers’ waste and tissue paper (negative control) in ten (10) replicates and the second experiment was comparing the same hatching media under two rearing conditions (room temperature and incubator) eight replicates (8) were set up for each hatching media. This study reveals that the commercial poultry feed had the heaviest neonates of an average weight of 0.07122 grams and highest hatchability of 61%, followed by maize bran with average weight of 0.05212 grams with hatchability of 55.625%. There was a significant difference between the hatchability in the incubator 56.6875% compared to room temperature 27.875%. The implication of these findings is that BSF farmers have to consider using commercial well formulated diets for hatching media and purchase incubators to increase their hatchability and weights at neonate level. Further research ought to be done to determine if the end BSF larvae fresh weight shall maintain a similar pattern when reared on different organic substrates.