, HEALTHY, CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE FEEDS FOR LIVESTOCK
…to end Competition between Humans & Animals for Food
With the renewed interest in healthy alternative feeds for livestock and fish, I am sharing this video (first link) and Audio (2nd link ) below on the use of Maggots in feeding fish, as a source of protein. Some people even now advocate the use of maggots in feeding poultry birds. Before you exclaim - Inyama! or Yuks! Read carefully the explanation below and watch the video and/or listen to the audio attentively.
People erroneously think maggots as animal feeds are injurious to health because they come from the eggs of flies which are causal agents of diseases such as cholera. Please have an open mind and not base your jugment on perception. Maggots or flies are not the causes of diseases. It is when flies perch on faeces, dirty gutters or dirty substances that their outer body parts come in contact with germs, when the same flies perch on people's food or drink they deposit the germs on the food or drink. If a fly does not get something dirty (filled with germs) to perch on, it will have no germs to go and deposit on people's food or drinks or on anything. Hence, people are advised to keep their environments clean.
To raise maggots, if one does not want to use poultry dungs, you can use overripe mangoes or food wastes from the kitchen. Flies will be attracted, they will feed on them, when they eat well, they will lay their eggs which will hatch to produce Maggots. Before feeding to poultry or fish, the maggots should be washed with clean water (shown in the video).
Even if you use the dung (faeces) of poultry or cow or any livestock to produce maggots, once you wash the maggots well with clean water, they become clean and free of dirts and therefore germ-free– they are healthy – watch or listen to the medical doctor in video and audio.
Why maggots are not injurious to health
Maggots are produced through an organic, biological process not through chemicals. But many people may not be able to stand the sight of fresh maggots being fed to fish, poultry birds and other livestock, so it is advisable to dry the maggots in the sun or in an oven at a temperature that will not denaure them –(Explained in video and audio).The dried maggots can then be blended into powder and packaged. The powdered maggots can be mixed with other fish feed or livestock feed ingredients as protein source to substitute imported fishmeal wholly or partly or soya bean and groundnut.
BATTLE FOR FOOD: ENDING COMPETITION BETWEEN MAN AND BEASTS
Effects on human consumers
The use of maggots in fish and livestock feeds will reduce the use of Antibiotics used in the form of supplements and premixes in fish/livestock feeds to prevent some diseases and/or ensure good growth. Antibiotics either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. Some antibiotics promote growth in animals making them grow faster -big. Maggots are protein-rich and also promote good, fast growth. People do love to buy big fish, chickens and other livestock.
But bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics as a result of continuous usage of antibiotics. This is called Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR). When bacteria in animals become resistant to antibiotics, diseases become more difficult to treat. The bacteria could spread to humans through consumption and continue to multiply causing harm. Humans also experience AMR when they are harbouring bacteria (transmitted through different means), that cannot be easily treated except by more powerful antibiotics or synthetic drugs with inherent side effects.
Like humans when fish and livestock eat good food, they have better chances of staying/growing healthy. Most naturally occurring foods are healthy to human health so also to animal health. But protein sources such as soya beans and groundnut which are heavily consumed by humans are so very expensive. Fishmeal is mostly imported, foreign exchange makes it also highly expensive and even if fishmeal is produced locally, cost of standard production also makes it highly expensive.
Fish/livestock farmers and indeed all farmers need to be profitable to stay in business and consumers also want fish and livestock products that are not excessively expensive. Maggots are safer, relatively cheaper alternative protein sources which can be produced locally.
However, I would not advise that individual farmers start producing maggots to feed fish or livestock except they have the capacity, facilities and health expert(s) on ground to supervise the production. I suggest that maggot production should be a separate, independent business from farming. The business should have the capacity, facilities and health expert(s) to produce the maggots in large commercial quantities, dry them, blend and package the maggots as Powdered Maggots for fish/livestock feeds and of course meet the food safety standards. Once packaged, in Nigeria, they would of course need to get the National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC) number - their facilities will be inspected and the product tested.
Investors would need all the support they can get, so the regulatory agency while ensuring that standards are adhered to, must ensure it is not impossible for investors to start and operate. As feeds currently constitute about 80percent of costs in animal farming, reducing this cost is essential. Farmers can for example increase fish production, it will reduce the N288 billion which according to National Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), is the country’s annual import bill on fisheries, and reduce the demand deficit for fish which is over one million metric tons through farmed fisheries which is the way to go as the fish catches in the country’s coastal marines are getting smaller in sizes and quantity.
The video and audio also has other very useful insights on other alternative sources of livestock feeds which are not just waste to wealth, but waste to health- Be Enlightened!
BY OLUYINKA ALAWODE