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Doctoral thesis2018Open access

Cricket farming : an alternative for producing food and feed in Cambodia

Phalla, Miech


This thesis examined use of weeds and agricultural by-products as feed for Cambodian field crickets (Teleogryllus testaceus) and the value of crickets as feed for monogastric animals. In a 70-day study, survival and growth of cricket nymphs fed weeds and food/agricultural by-products were evaluated. The weeds were Alternanthera sessilis, Amaranthus spinosus, Commelina benghalensis, Cleome rutidosperma, Cleome viscosa, Boerhavia diffusa and Synedrela nodiflora. The by-products were rice bran, cassava tops, water spinach, spent grain and mungbean sprout residues. Chicken feed was used as the control. Cricket survival did not differ between feeds except for B. diffusa and A. sessilis, which gave lower survival than the control. Weight of crickets fed cassava tops and C. rutidosperma did not differ from the control. Analyses of amino acid and mineral content in dried and frozen samples of field crickets fed the control, cassava tops, S. nodiflora or C. rutidosperma revealed that methionine content was highest in crickets fed cassava tops. There were no differences in mineral content. Apparent faecal digestibility and nitrogen retention were evaluated in piglets (n=21, age 30-45 days) fed three iso-nitrogenous diets (18.4% crude protein) containing whole cricket meal (WC), cricket body meal (BC) or fish meal (control) for 25 days. Total collection of faeces and urine was performed during the last 5 days. Dry matter and nutrient intake were higher for WC and BC than for the control. From day 10, piglets fed BC and WC were heavier than piglets fed the control, but there were no differences between WC and BC. Dry matter digestibility was highest for WC. Feed conversion ratio was lower for WC and BC than for the control and nitrogen retention (% of digested) was higher. Growth was also evaluated in native chickens (n=60, age 30-45 days) fed iso-nitrogenous (21% crude protein) diets containing WC, cricket leg meal (LC) and fish meal (control) for 35 days. Daily weight gain, daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio of chickens fed WC and LC did not differ from the control, but daily weight gain was higher and feed conversion ratio lower in chickens fed WC compared with LC. These results show that Cambodian field crickets can be reared using simple means, with e.g. cassava tops and C. rutidosperma (purple cleome) as feed. They also demonstrate that field cricket meal is a nutritious feedstuff for pigs (and probably also humans) and that peeling (removal of legs) does not improve digestibility and nitrogen retention. However, residues from peeled crickets, i.e. leg meal, can successfully replace fish meal in the diet of native chickens. Keywords: Nutrition, food, feed, peeled, wild, cricket farming, weeds, and by-products.


cricket farming, cricket as food, cricket as feed, Wild native cricket, Field cricket, Cambodian chicken, Two-spotted cricket

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2018, number: 2018:24ISBN: 978-91-7760-188-3, eISBN: 978-91-7760-189-0
Publisher: Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Agricultural Sciences not elsewhere specified

    Permanent link to this page (URI)