Research Reports

Spinach and Stylo as potential protein supplements in ground maize diets for smallholder pig production

This study researched the effects of replacing ground maize by stylo (CIAT 184) and spinach vegetable as sources of protein in feeds for smallholder pig production. Sixteen Lao indigenous pigs (an equal number of castrated male and females) with an average live weight of 10.3±0.07 kg, were purchased from farmers in the local market of Sam Neua in Houaphanh province, for use in the study. The dietary treatments (DM basis) were: (i) RM = 70% rice bran + 30% maize as the control diet; (ii) RMS1= 50% rice bran + 20% maize + 30% spinach vegetable; (iii) RMS2 = 50% rice bran + 20% maize + 30% stylo ; and (iv) RMSS = 50% rice bran + 10% maize + 20% spinach vegetable + 20% stylo. All the feed components were mixed before feeding. The experimental design was a completely randomized design (CRD) with 4 replications. The feeding treatments were provided over a 70 day period. Data were collected on feed intake and growth performance. This component of the study was undertaken in the period September to November 2010.Mean total DM intakes were 725, 775, 925 and 837.5 g/day for treatments RM, RMS1, RMS2 and RMSS, respectively (p< 0.05). The average daily live weight gains (ADG) were 102.5, 106.5, 128.1 and 130.4 g for treatments RM, RMS1, RMS2 and RMSS, respectively (p< 0.05). Feed conversion ratio (FCR) was highest at 7.28 kg feed/kg for treatment RMS1 and lowest at 6.5 kg feed/kg for treatment RMSS; FCR showed no significant difference among the treatments (p> 0.05). In a second year of the study, the two best treatments (MRS2 and MRSS) were compared with feed prepared by local farmers (Ctrl) in four households in each of the villages of Ban Kan and Ban Ong, in Sam Neua district of Houaphanh province. The experiment was conducted using 24 pigs of various weights ranging from 8 to 36.5 kg. The feeding treatments were provided over a period of 90 days during September to December 2011. The experimental design was an RCBD with 4 replications. The ADGs were 109.03±25.19, 152.08±30.56 and 102.08±28.00 g for treatments Ctrl, RMS2 and RMSS, respectively (p< 0.05). From the results of the study, it is concluded that a feed mixture comprising 30% (DM basis) stylo, 50% rice bran and 20% ground maize, without spinach, is an optimum diet for raising and fattening of pigs, through a combination of improved feed intake and a better feed conversion ratio. The response to the improved diet was not related to the sex of the pigs.