Alternative Feed Resource for Growing African Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) Larvae in Commercial Production
A six (6)-week long experiment was undertaken to develop an alternative feed resource for the production of African palm weevil (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) larvae and to evaluate the performance of the larvae raised on the different diets. After two weeks, four-hundred (400) young larvae (hatchlings) which weighed between 0.6 – 1.6 g were selected and randomly grouped into 40 sets, each group comprising ten (10) larvae of similar weights and then randomly allocated to four (4) dietary treatments, using a completely randomized design (CRD) with ten (10) replications of 10 larvae. The four treatments designated as T1, T2, T3 and T4 had varying inclusion levels of oil palm yolk at 100%, 50%, 50% and 25% respectively with various combinations of agro-waste materials including fruit waste of banana and pineapple and millet waste. Three (3) kilograms of each diet was formulated and fed every two weeks of the four weeks feeding trial period; with feed being provided ad libitum. Results of the feeding trial revealed that parameters such as total feed intake and mean total feed intake per larva, feed conversion efficiency, pH of larvae and feed cost per kilogram showed significant (p<0.05) differences among treatments. Results of the proximate analysis of diets used revealed significant (p<0.05) differences among the various treatment diets. In conclusion, the study demonstrated that diets did not have any adverse effects on growth performance of larvae, whiles a relatively improved performance was observed at the least inclusion level of oil palm yolk, OPY (25 %). The agro-waste materials exploited actually proved to be potential alternative feed resources for raising the larvae and the diets used served as nutritionally suitable growth media for production of palm weevil larvae.
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