PhD defence

Fly in the coop – How black soldier fly larvae improve broiler and pig welfare


Both broilers and pigs often experience welfare problems, mainly due to the barren environment they are housed in. Live black soldier fly larvae can be provided to broilers and pigs as enrichment to make their environment more interesting, which was studied in this thesis. When larvae were provided to broilers, the broilers became more active and spent more time in standing posture, and long-term access to larvae in some cases improved their leg health and lowered their fearfulness. For pigs, larvae provisioning redirected exploratory behaviors such as biting away from other pigs and towards the larvae. For young piglets that were still housed with the sow larvae provisioning had no effect on their feed intake (which is generally low in these piglets) and their behavior. Overall, providing these larvae is a promising method to improve the welfare of both broilers and pigs.