Pigs for commercial production are often housed intensively because of its benefits, such as proper management of the animals, record‑keeping, feed and water provision and management. However, intensive systems of production may also produce stress in animals, arising from operations such as weaning, feed reduction or manipulation, and vaccination. In Africa, pig farmers feed cassava peels to pigs to reduce the cost of production despite its low protein content and anti‑nutritional factor (hydrocyanide). However, little is known about the effect of this feed change in terms of stress on weaners. In this study, we replaced maize with cassava peels and supplemented the diets with a fixed amount of tryptophan (Trp) to investigate its effect on performance, haematology, behavioural response of pigs to weaning, and their response to metabolic stress. Crossbred weaner pigs were used and randomly assigned to three treatments in a completely randomised design. Each treatment had three replicates and each replicate had three animals. The feeding trial lasted for four weeks. Dietary manipulations did not influence the growth performance characteristics and behavioural response of the animals. Packed cell volume, haemoglobin, red blood cell counts, and neutrophils were significantly (p < 0.05) higher for 20 % cassava peel as a replacement for maize but lower for a 40 % cassava peel‑based diet when compared with the control group. Feeding cassava peels as a replacement for maize in weaner pigs may be carefully considered, although further studies in this direction are recommended.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
Volume Open
Argomenti della rivista:
Life Sciences, Plant Science