Department of animal science, Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr branch, Qaemshahr, Iran


Objective: The protein quality of earthworm meal was evaluated and compared to that of soybean meal (SBM) in two experiments using broiler chicks.  Methods: The protein quality of earthworm meal was evaluated and compared to that of soybean meal (SBM) in two experiments using broiler chicks. Results: The results of experiment 1 indicated that there were no significant differences between earthworm meal and soybean meal in PER or NPR, but the breast muscle weight was increased in broilers fed earthworm meal diets, significantly (p<0.05). The birds fed with earthworm meal diets had a higher crude protein digestibility (p<0.05). In experiment 2, feed efficiency ratio was decreased in broilers fed diets supplemented with earthworm meal (p<0.05). The results of carcass characteristics showed that dietary treatments had a significant effect on breast percentage (p<0.05). The crypt depth of jejunum was higher in birds fed with maximum inclusion rate of earthworm meal (p<0.05). In experiment 2, the blood biochemical parameters of broilers were not affected by treatments. In regards with these results, it is suggested that use of earthworm meal in broiler diets may be suitable.


Main Subjects

Adil Ansari, A. and Sitaram, K. (2010). An investigation on the anti-microbial and anti-fungalproperties of earthworm powder obtained from Eiseina fetida.
International Journal of Microbiological Research, 1(2),62-66.
Anitha, J. and Indira, A.J. (2012). Nutritional and antioxidant evaluation of earthworm powder (Eudrillus Euginae). International Research Journal of
Pharmacology, 3(2), 177-180.
Balamurugan, M., Parthasarathi, K., Ranganathan, L.S. and Cooper, E.L. (2008). Hypothetical mode of action of earthworm extract with hepatoprotective and antioxidant properties. Journal of Zhejiang University
Science, B, 9(2), 141-147.
Cooper, E.L., Ru, B. and Weng, N. (2004). Earthworms: source of antimicrobial and anticancer molecules. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 546, 359-389.
Ebadiasl, G.R. (2011). Effects of supplemental glutamine and glutamate on growth performance, gastrointestinal development, jejunum morphology and Clostridium perfringens count in caecum of broilers. Swedish
University of Agricultural Science. Department of animal nutrition and management, Uppsala.
Edwards, C.A. (1985). Production of feed protein from animal waste by earthworms. Philosophical transcations of royal society of london, B310, 299-307.
Fadaee, R. (2012). A review on earthworm Eisenia foetida and its application. Annals of Biologicl Research, 3(5), 2500-2506
Mihara, H., Ikeda, R. and Yonnet, T. (1996). The useful of earthworm powder. Miyazaki medical college, Kiyotake, Miyazaki.
Ignacio, A., Carlos, A., Luois, A. and Hebel, P. (1993). Nutritional and toxicological evaluation of earthworm (Eisenia foetida) meal as protein source for animal feed. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 42, 165-172.
Istiqomah, L., Sofyan, A., Damayanti, E. and Julendra, H. (2009). Amino acids profile of earthworm and earthworm meal (Lumbricus rubellus) for animal
feedstuff. Journal of Indonesian Tropical Animal and Agriculture, 34(4), 253-257.
Julendra, H., Damayanti, E., Istoqomah, L., Nurhayati, S. and Karimy, M.F. (2012). The effectiveness of earthworm meal supplementation as antibiotic growth promoter replacer with different processing method. Proceeding of
the 1st poultry international symposium, 146-157.
Liu, Y.Q., Sun, Z.J., Wang, C., Li, S.J. and Liu, Y.Z. (2004). Purification of a novel antibacterial short peptide in earthworm Eisenia foetida. Acta Biochemistry and Biophysic, 36 (4), 297 ñ 302.
Murakami, A., Sakamoto, E., Natali, M.I., Souza, M.R.M. and Franco, J.R.G. (2007). Supplementation of Glutamine and Vitamin E on the Morphometry of the Intestinal Mucosa in Broiler Chickens. Poultry Science, 86, 488-495.
Nguyen, N.T. and Ulfert, F. (2009). Earthworm powder as potential protein source in diets for common carp. Biophysical and socio-economic frame conditions for the sustainable management of natural resources, Hamburg.
National Research Council. (1994). Nutrient requirement of poultry. 9th rev. edn. Washington, National Academy Press.
Paoletti, M.G., Buscardo, E., VanderJagt, D.J., Pastuszyn, A., Huang, Y.S., Chuang, L.T., Millson, M., Torees, F. and Glew, R.H. (2003). Nutrient contents of earthworms consumed by YeíKuana. Proceeding biological sciences, 247-257.
Popovic, M., Grdisa, M. and Hrzenjak, T.M. (2005). Glycolipoprotein G-90 obtained from the earthworm Eisenia foetida exerts antibacterial activity. Veterinary Archives,75 (2),119ñ128.
Prayogi, H.S. (2011). The effect of earthworm meal supplementation in the diets of quails growth performance in attempt to replace the use of fish meal.
International Journal of Poultry Science, 10(10), 804-806. Reinecke, A.J., Hayes, J.P. and Cilliers, S.C. (1991). Protein quality of three different species of earthworms. South African journal of Animal Science, 21(2), 99-103.
Resnawati, H. (2004). The carcass cutting weight and abdominal fat of broilers fed by earthworm meal. Proceeding of National Seminar Animal Science and Technology, 473- 478, Bogor.
Rezaeipour, V., Fononi, H. and Irani, M. (2012). The effects of dietary L-threonine and Saccharomyces cerevisiae on performance, intestinal morphology and immune response of broiler chickens. South African
journal of Animal Science,42(3), 266-273.
Rofiq, M.N. (2003). The effect of feed source from local material on performance of broiler intestinal villi structure. Journal of Indonesian Science and Technology, 5(5), 190-194.
SAS. (1990). Statistical Analytical System user,s guide (version 6.4th Ed). SAS Institute Inc. North Carolina, USA.
Sofyan, A., Damayanti, E. and Julendra, H. (2008). Antibacterial activity and protein of earthworm meal as 2488 Rezaeipour et al/ Int. J. Adv. Biol. Biom. Res, 2014; 2 (8), 2483-2494
feed additive combined with chitosan. JITV, 13(3), 182- 188.
Sogbesan, A.O. and Ugwumba, A.A.A. (2008). Nutritional values of some non conventional animal protein feedstuffs used as fishmeal supplement in aquaculture practices in nigeria. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and
Aquaculture Science, 8, 159-164.
Soltan, M.A. (2009). Influence of dietary glutamine supplementation on growth performance, small intestinal morphology, immune response and some blood parameters of broiler chickens. International Journal of
Poultry Science, 8 (1), 60-68.
Taboga, L. (1980). The nutritional value of earthworms for chicken. British Poultry Science, 21, 405-410.