This study evaluated survival and growth of Cambodian field crickets (Teleogryllus testaceus) during captivity when fed a set of local weed species, agricultural and food industry by-products. Wild individuals were caught at two locations in Cambodia, kept in pens and fed commercial chicken feed until the second generation off-spring hatched. First larval stage nymphs from this generation were collected and used in a 70-day feeding trial with one control treatment (chicken feed) and 12 experimental treatments (rice bran, cassava plant tops, water spinach, spent grain, residue from mungbean sprout production, and Alternanthera sessilis, Amaranthus spinosus, Commelina benghalensis, Cleome rutidosperma, Cleome viscosa, Boerhavia diffusa and Synedrela nodiflora). The crickets were kept in plastic cages and feed intake, weight and survival of crickets were recorded weekly. Overall survival did not differ between chicken feed and the experimental treatments with the exception of crickets fed B. diffusa, which had lower survival. From day 35 to day 49, survival on A. sessilis was also lower (P<0.05) than on chicken feed. There was no difference in weight between crickets fed chicken feed, cassava tops and C. rutidosperma. However, crickets fed A. sessilis, A. spinosus and B. diffusa weighed less than those fed chicken feed already at day 21. The feed conversion rate ranged from 1.6 to 3.9 and was ≤1.9 in crickets fed chicken feed, cassava plant tops and C. rutidosperma. Thus this study shows that it is possible, using simple means, to rear Cambodian field crickets. Cassava plant tops and C. rutidosperma both have great potential as cricket feed and the other weeds, with the exception of A. sessilis, A. spinosus and B. diffusa, agricultural and food industry by-products tested, also showed potential.
|ScienceOpen disciplines:||Animal agriculture, General life sciences, Nutrition & Dietetics, Animal science & Zoology, Life sciences|
|Keywords:||weight, feed conversion, Cleome rutidosperma , cassava, entomophagy|