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.


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