Growing pigs were used to assess the slaughter and carcass characteristics, organs and primal cut yields when fed diets supplemented with processed leaves of Tithonia diversifolia (wild sunflower) referred to as Tithonia diversifolia leaf meal (TDLM). A 63-day feeding trial was conducted with commercially available male Large White growing weanling pigs on four experimental diets containing 19.0% crude protein and a digestible energy value of 2997 kcal/kg. Tithonia diversifolia leaf meal (TDLM) progressively replaced soybeans at 10%, 20% and 30% inclusion levels in diets 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Carcass yields for pigs on 10% TDLM were similar (p>0.05) to the values obtained for pigs on the control diet without TDLM. Most other carcass parameters such as carcass length, chest width, trochanter width and leg length were similar (p>0.05) and variations where they existed were minimal. Slaughter traits such as live weight at slaughter, empty slaughter weight, dead weight and back fat depth were significantly better (p<0.05) for pigs on the control diet without TDLM inclusion at 20.2kg, 14.6kg, 19.1kg and 0.9cm, respectively. These values were closely followed by the values obtained for pigs on 10% dietary TDLM inclusion at 15.6kg, 11.5kg, 15.1kg and 0.5cm for live weight at slaughter, empty slaughter weight, dead weight and back fat depth, respectively. Poor values of empty slaughter weight, body mass index, dead weight and back fat depth were recorded for pigs on diets 3 (20% TDLM) and 4 (30% TDLM) ostensibly due to the low feed intake and subsequent poor weight gain and high feed conversion ratio. The above trend was repeated for offals and organs yields. However, reproductive organs were not adversely affected even at 30%. Most determined experimental pig primal cuts were within moderate ranges according to literature and also similar to values obtained for pigs on experimental control diet. Conclusively, pigs on 10% TDLM inclusion level had comparable slaughter/carcass traits, organs and primal cut yields with pigs on the control diet without TDLM and also with most reported values in existing literature. Growing pigs tolerated TDLM and in some cases surpassed the performances of pigs on conventional growing pig diets. Further research studies may be necessary to investigate the nutritional value of TDLM when more adequate processing techniques are employed to reduce its anti-nutrients.
Leaves of Tithonia diversifolia (wild sunflower) were harvested, processed and subsequently referred to as Tithonia diversifolia leaf meal (TDLM). Proximate composition and amino acid analyses revealed that TDLM is a relative rich protein source at 20.6% crude protein (CP) content. Lysine, leucine and isoleucine were particularly abundant in TDLM and compared favourably with conventional protein sources such as groundnut cake and hen's whole egg. Pre-feeding trial on standard grower pig diet for 10 days revealed uniform growth among the 24 Large White breed experimental pigs allotted into 4 treatments. Thereafter, a 63-day feeding trial was conducted using four diets containing 19.0% CP and digestible energy value of about 12.55MJ/kg. TDLM progressively replaced soybean at 0 (control), 10, 20 and 30% inclusion levels in diets 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. There was a significant reduction (p≥0.05) in daily feed consumption for pigs across the experimental diets with a range of 390.8 g/day in pigs on the control diet to 261.4 g/day in pigs on diet with 30% TDLM. Average daily weight gain (AWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) had a similar trend with AWG varying significantly (p≥0.05) from 114.3 g/day for pigs on the control diet to 11.7 g/day for pigs on diet with 30% TDLM. Nitrogen retention (NR) had the highest significant (p≥0.05) value of 2.87 g/N/pig/day for pigs on 10% TDLM followed by 2.26 g/N/pig/day for pigs on the control diet. There were negative net nitrogen retention values of-2.60 g/N/pig/day and-1.70 g/N/pig/day for pigs on 20% and 30% TDLM inclusion levels, respectively. Body length ranged from 55.3 to 61.8 cm; knee to floor ranged from 14.4 to 16.3 cm; and hock to floor ranged from 18.4 to 19.3 cm. Pigs on 10% TDLM based diet surpassed the control diet in body length. Other parameters (live weight, height at withers, chest depth and chest girth) had slightly varying (p≥0.05) values for pigs across different diets with pigs on the control diet and diet with 10% TDLM inclusion level having consistently higher values. The similarities in most parameters determined for pigs on control diet and 10% TDLM strongly suggests the suitability of TDLM at inclusion levels not exceeding 10%. We concluded that further processing techniques may be used to facilitate better utilization of TDLM in pig rations.
Feed restriction has been described as a management tool to limit birds’ access to feed in order to reduce feed cost without compromising their health and meat products. The present study was undertaken to assess the effects of strain of cocks and feed restriction at different ages on carcass characteristics. The study was conducted at Teaching and Research Farm of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria for a period of 16 weeks. A total number of 180 day-old cockerels of two strains comprising Black and White plumage (90 chicks each) were procured to examine and compare their carcass characteristics. At 6th week of age, the birds were randomly distributed into four treatments with three replicates for each strain. The treatments are, T1: control (ad libitum), T2: feed restricted from 6th -7th week, T3: feed restricted from 8th -9th week and T4: feed restricted from 10th -11th week. Data collected at 16th week of age include live body weight, bled weight, dressed weight, eviscerated weight, breast weight, back muscle weight, drumstick and thigh weights. Analyzed results showed that live weight and carcass weights were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by strain. Both strains recorded similar mean values. With regard to feed restriction, no significant (P > 0.05) effect was found for live weight and most traits with the exception of bled weight, breast muscle weight and thigh weight. However, the control and 6th week restricted birds recorded superior mean values in such cases. The study indicates that the two strains are good for increased meat production and revenue generation, while the 6th week feed restriction is suggested for maximum productivity and profit.
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