Evaluation of Worms as a Source of Protein in Poultry

Bülent Köse, Ergin Öztürk


Continuous improvement of the genetic potential through breeding studies in poultry has led to an increase in the nutrient density of the feed rations given to these animals. In poultry farming, approximately 70% to 75% of the operating costs constitute feeding costs, of which about 15% are animal proteins. The protein requirement of poultry is provided by feed stuff rations and usually by soy bean meal or fish meal. Limited production opportunities and price increases have led to the need to use alternative feed additives that can be substituted for these products. Research conducted to date suggests that worms, rich in essential amino acids and a high digestible protein source can be used as substitutes. As a source of alternative protein, worms are consumed by their poultry in their natural habitat, while intensive and extensive studies are needed to be used as a sustainable feed additive. In this review, research on the usability of worms as an alternative protein source in poultry diets has been compiled and evaluated.


Poultry, Worm, Protein, Feed value, Nutrition

Full Text:



with maggot meal in the diet of broilers.Int. J. Poult. Sci.,6: 822-825.

Akiyama, T., Murai, T., Hirasawa, Y. and Nose, T., 1984. Supplementation of various means to fish meal diet for chum salmon fry. Aquaculture, 37: 217-222.

Ali, M. S., 2002. Krishi, O. Poripesh Bayabostha ponai, Lagshai Tekshoi Kencho prozukti, Uttyoron ofset printing Press, Rajshahi, Bangaladesh.

Banerjee G.C., 1992. Poultry (3rd edition). Oxford and IBH publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, 168-172.

Bernard, J.B., Allen, M.E. and Ullrey, D.E., 1997. Feeding captive insectivorous animals: Nutritional aspects of insects as food. Nutrition Advisory Group Handbook. Fact Sheet 003, August: 1-7.

Çınar, H., 2007. Poultry meat and egg. TEAE-View. 9 (14), Ankara.

Dedeke, G.A., Owa, S.O., Olurin, K.B., 2010 Amino acid profile of four earthworms species from Nigeria. Agriculture And Biology Journal of Nort Amerika. ISSN Print:2151-7517, ISSN Online:2151-7525©2010,ScienceHuβ, http://www.scihub.org/ABJNA.

Edwars, C. A., 1985. Production of feed protein from animal waste by earthworms. Philosophical transcations of royal society of London, B310, 299-307.

Edward C.A., Bohlen P. J., 1996. Biology and ecologgy of earthworm, 3-rd ed. Chapman and Hall, London.

Fisher C., 1988. The nutritional value of earthworm meal for poultry. In earthworm is waste and environmental, (C. A. Edwars and E. F. Heuhauser, Eds) pp. 181-192. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague.

Ghatnekar, S. D., Kavian, M., Ghatnekar, G. S., 1995. Biomanagement of wastes through vermiculture. Encology,10(7):1-7.

Ghatnekar, S. D., Kavian, M. F., Ghatnekar, M. S., Ghatnekar, S. S., 2000. Biomanagement of wastewater from vegetable dehydration plant. In: Trivedy, R.K., Kaul, S.N., (Eds). Advences in wastewater tratmentTechnologies (Vol 2), Global Science Publications, U.P., India, pp: 19-26.

Guerrero, R.D., 1983. The culture and use of Perionxy excavatus as protein resource in the Philippines. In: J.E. Satchell (Ed.), Earthworm Ecology, Chapman and Hall, London: 309-319.

Hatti shankerappa, S., 2013. Chemical composition like protein, lipid and glycogen of local three speciesof earthworms of gulbarga city, karnataka- ındia. International Journal of Advancements in Research &Technology, 2, (7): 73-97.

Harword,M., and Sabine, J.R., 1978. The nutritive value of worm meal. Pro. 2nd Austr. Poul. Stockfeed Conv., Sydney, p. 164-171.

Hayashi, H., Yokota, N., Okumura, H. J. 1979. Performance of growing and laying chickens fed diets containing earthworms (Eisenia foetide). Japanese Poultry Science 1979 Vol. 16 No. 5 pp. 293-297.

Hilton, J. W., 1983. Potential of freeze-dried worm meal as a replacement for fish meal in trout diet formulations. Aqua culture, 32: 227-283.

Khan, S., Naz, S., Sultan, A., Alhıdary, L.A., Abdelrahman, 2016. Worm meal: a potential source of alternative protein in poultry feed. World’s Poultry Science Journal. Volume 72, Issue 1, pp. 93-102.

Kostecka, J. and Paizka, G., 2006. Possible use of earthworm Essenia fetida (Sav.) Biomass for breeding, aquarium fish. European Journal of Soil Biology, 42: 231-233.

Lieberman, S., 2002. Worms, beautiful worms. International Worm Digest, p:11(23).

Makkar, H.P.S., Tran, G., Heuze, V. and Ankers, P., 2014. State-of-the-art on use of insects as animal feed. Animal Feed Science and Technology 197:1-33.

Mason, W. T., Rottmann, R. W. and Dequine, J. F., 1992. Culture of earthworms for bait or fish food, Florida cooperative extension service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida 10539, pp. 1-4.

Md. Hasanuzzaman, A. F., Hossian Sk, Z. and Das, M., 2010. Nutritional potentiality of earthworm (Perionyx excavatus) for substituting fishmeal used in local feed company in Bangladesh. Mesopot. J. Mar. Sci., 25(2): 25-30.

Ouachem, D., Kaboul, N., Meredef, A., Abdessemed, F. ve Gaid, Z.A., 2015. Effects of clay on performance, moisture of droppings and health status of poultry: an overview. World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 71, p: 184-189.

Özen N., Kirkpinar F., Özdoğan M., Ertürk M.M., Yurtman İ.Y., 2005. Feed Animal. Agricultural Engineering VI. Technical Congress Turkey, 3-7 January Ankara, 753-771.

Öztürk, E., 2016. Is the quality of eggs and chicken meat affected by current maintenance and feeding practices? Journal of Poultry Recearch. 13 (2): 5-11.

Reinecke, A.J., Hayes, J.P. and Cilliers, S.C., 1991. Protein quality of three different species of earthworm. South African Journal of Animal Science, 21(2), 99-103.

Paolettı, M.G., Buscardo, E. and Vander Jagt, D.J., 2003. Nutrient content of earthworms by Ye'Kuana Amerindians of the Alto Orinoco of Venezuela. Proceeding of the Royal Society of London B 270: 249.

Prayogi, H.S., 2011. The effect of earthworm meal supplementation in the diet on quail's growth performance in attempt to replace the usage of fish meal. International Journal of Poultry Science 10: 804-806.

Rumpold BA, Schlüter OK., 2013. Potential and challenges of insects as an innovative source for food and feed production. Innovative Food Sci. and Emerging Techn. 17: 1-11.

Sabine, J. R., 1986. Earthworms as a source of food and drugs, in: earthworm ecology from Darwin to vermiculture, Chappman and Hall, © London, New York, pp. 285-296.

Sharma, S., Pradhan, K., Satya, S. and Vasudevan, P., 2005. Potentiality of earthworms for waste management and in other uses - A review. The Journal of American Science 1: 4-16.

Sogbesan, A.O. and Ugwumba, A.A.A., 2008. Nutritional values of some non-conventional animal protein feedstuffs used as fishmeal supplement in aquaculture practices in Nigeria. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 8: 159-164.

Son, J.H., 2009. The study on treatment of poultry waste by earthworms, and the effect of feeding earthworms meal on the performance of broilers and laying hens, and safety of meat and egg. From http://agris.fao.org/agrissearch/search.do?recordID=KR2009004066

Son, J.H. and Jo, I.H., 2013. Effects of earthworm meal supplementation on the performance of broiler chickens.Fromhttp://agris.fao.org/agrissearch/search.do?recordID=KR2004004925

Stafford, E.A. & A.G.J. Tacon, 1988. The use of earthworm as a food for rainbow trout Salmo gairdneri, In C.A. Edwars & E.F. Neuhauser (eds), Earthworm in waste and environmental management:193-208. The Hague:SPB Academic Publishing.

Taboga, L., 1980. The nutritional value of earthworm for chickens. British Poultry Science 21(5): 405 410.

Tacon, A. G. J., Hasan, M. R. and Subasinghe, R. P., 1983. A preliminary investigation of the nutritive value of three terrestrial lumbricid worms for rainbow trout. Aquaculture, 35: 187-199.

Tacon, A.G.J. and Metian, M., 2008. Global overview on the use of fish meal and fish oil in industrially compounded aqua feeds. Trends and Future Prospects, Aquaculture 285: 146-158.

Tiroesele, B. And Morekı, J.C., 2012. Termites and earthworms as potential alternative sources of protein for poultry. International Journal for Agro Veterinary and Medical Sciences 6: 368-376.

Ton V. D., Hanh H. Q., Ling N. D., and Duy Ng. V., 2009. Use of redworms (Perionyx excavatus) to manage agricultural wastes and supply valuable feed for poultry centro para la investigacion en sistemas sostenibles Produccion Agropecuaria: 21(11): 192. Htpp://orbi.ulg.ac.be/bitstream/2268/141858/1/Use%20of%20redworms.pdf

Van Huis, A.V., Itterbeeck, J.V., Klunder, H., Mertens, E., Halloran, A., Muir, G and Vantomme, P., 2013. Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security. FAO Forestry Paper, Wageningen, 171.

Veldkamp, T., Duinkerken, G.V., Huis, A.V., Lakemond, C.M.M., Ottevanger, E., Bosh, G. and van Boekel, M.A.J.S., 2012. Insects as a sustainable feed ingredient in pig and poultry diets- a feasibility study. Wageningen UR Livestock Research, Report 638.

Watson, M.R., 1957. The Chemical Composition of Earthworm Cuticle. Biochemistry 68: 416-420.

Zhenjun, S., Xianchun, L., Lihui, S., 1996. Earthworm as a potential protein resource. and song chunyang. ecology of food and nutrition. 36: 221-236.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15316/SJAFS.2017.27


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Lisansı
Bu eser Creative Commons Alıntı-GayriTicari-Türetilemez 4.0 Uluslararası Lisansı ile lisanslanmıştır.