Full Length Research Paper
Partial replacement of fish meal by earthworm meal
(Libyodrilus violaceus) in diets for African catfish,
Fish meal is the most common source of protein for aqua feeds. However, the cost of fish meal is on the rise, because of its competing use as feed ingredient by other animals (livestock, ruminants etc.). It is therefore necessary to find alternatives to fish meal in the preparation of animal diets.Various workers have attempted to use other locally available cheap protein sources (e.g. plant protein, agricultural by- products, fishery by-products, terrestrial animal by -products, grain legumes, oil seed plants etc.) in animal feeds. Plant protein sources have been used as alternatives in the diets of fish with some measure of success particularly grain legumes (Zhou et al., 2005; Emre et al., 2008;
Monentcham et al., 2010; Lim et al., 2011). A major setback in the use of plant proteins however, is the presence of anti growth factors. Other workers have also used other animal sources such as poultry by- product (Tucker et al., 2005; Shapawi et al., 2007), meat and bone meal (Gimenez et al., 2009) with favourable results in some cases.The use of earthworms has also been documented. Earthworms are abundant in most parts of Africa and their nutritional values have been determined. They possess amino acid profiles similar to fish (Dedeke et al., 2010a) and have been used as protein supplements in the diets of fish (Hilton, 1983; Sogbesan et al., 2007; Monebi and Ugwumba, 2013).