Laboratory animals such as the popular lab rats are very vital to researchers. There are several articles detailing how to care for these animals especially on how and what they should be fed with. The possibility of using the dipteran larvae (maggots) as protein substitute in the feeding of Albino rats was recently investigated by R. F. Ogunleye of the Department of Zoology, University of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria in view of finding a cheaper and richer source of protein.
In the study, two sets of rats were used. One set were fed with the convectional feed (set G,) with Clarias fish as its protein portion while the other set (M) were fed with same diet with maggots from poultry wastes as its protein portion. The feeding was done for five weeks before the experiment was terminated. Weekly assessment of weights (in g) and lengths (in cm) was done.
Results from the research proximate analysis shows a well comparable level of protein in the experimental diet (29.3%) and the control (27.4%). All the minerals contained in the experimental diet were higher in quantity than those of the control. Weight gain in rats fed with experimental diet increased more sharply than those of the control. These significant results therefore show that dipteran larvae (maggots) as a protein substitute proved highly promising since it is cheap and readily available.
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