The team hand-reared a total of 116 chicks which they divided into four groups, each fed a different diet:
Two “meat” diets
1. rat mince diet, a specific pathogen-free laboratory rat mince;
2. kibble diet, a formula based on a high-protein–low-carbohydrate cat food;
and two “insect” diets:
3. cricket diet, based on house crickets (Acheta domesticus) and wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella)
4. mealworm diet, based on mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor). All the chicks were given vitamin and other supplements to ensure that they were not put at undue risk.