TROPICAL ANIMAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTION; Vol.45 1; 45-51
The impact of replacing soybean crude protein (CP) with CP from ensiled taro leaves (ET) on growth performance, carcass traits, and organ weights in Landrace x Yorkshire (LY) and Moo Lath (ML) Lao pigs was studied. Twenty-four castrated male pigs, 12 of each breed, were allocated to the treatments according to a completely randomized 3 x 2 factorial (three levels of ET x two breeds) arrangement with four pigs per treatment. The pigs were kept in individual pens and were fed at 4 % dry matter of body weight for 105 days. The control diet (ET0) was formulated with soybean meal as the main CP source, and in the other two diets, soybean CP was replaced to 25 % (ET25) and 50 % (ET50), respectively, with CP from ensiled taro leaves. Calculated metabolizable energy intake decreased with increasing replacement of soybean CP in the diet, while dry matter intake (DMI), CP intake (CPI), average daily gain (ADG), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were unaffected. Carcass weight, back fat thickness, and dressing percentage were unaffected by soybean CP replacement, while organ weights (except for spleen) increased (P < 0.001) when soybean CP was replaced by CP from ensiled taro leaves in the diet. LY pigs had higher (P < 0.001) DMI, CPI, and ADG and better (P < 0.001) FCR than ML pigs. LY pigs had higher carcass weight (P < 0.001), lower back fat thickness (P < 0.001), and higher organ weights (P < 0.05-0.001) than the ML pigs. In conclusion, taro leaf silage can replace up to 50 % of soybean CP in the diet of growing Lao LY and ML pigs without negative effects on performance and carcass traits.