BACKGROUND: Small-scale poultry farming plays a major role as a source of income for farmers through the sale of
birds and eggs. Furthermore, in households’ poultry products are a valuable source of protein in the diet—especially
in low-income communities. However, these farmers are facing a challenge with the rising cost of conventional feed.
Climate change and global warming play a role in changing farming activities and affecting household food security.
Therefore, replacing traditional ingredients with insects in chicken diets is gaining popularity worldwide. The purpose
of this study was to assess the willingness of small-scale poultry farmers to adopt the use of yellow mealworm in diets
for chickens. A total number of 107 farmers in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality were selected using
snowball sampling and were interviewed face to face using a semi-structured questionnaire.
RESULTS: Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were used to analyse the data. The results of the study
showed that 72% of respondents, the majority of whom were male, were willing to adopt mealworm as poultry feed.
About 51% of the participants were willing to eat chicken that was reared using mealworms, even though 85% had
not seen mealworms before. Furthermore, it was found that farmers who used mixed corn and who had secondary
education were more willing to adopt mealworms as an alternative protein source in chicken feed.
CONCLUSION: Small-scale poultry farmers in Tshwane accept the use of mealworm as chicken feed. It is recommended
that the early adopters of mealworms as poultry feed be profiled so that communication strategies can be developed
to deal with the fears and attitudes of farmers who are not willing to adopt mealworms as poultry feed. Since the
majority of the farmers who are willing to adopt mealworm had secondary education, it would be beneficial if small scale poultry farmers are educated about the benefits of using yellow mealworm as a substitute in poultry feed.