EVALUATION OF HEAT-TREATED SMALL RUMINANTS DROPPING AS AN ALTERNATIVE FEEDSTUFF IN WEANLING PIG DIETS (Published)
A 35 day feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the utilization of heat treated small ruminants dropping in the diet of weanling pigs. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of heat treated Small Ruminants Dropping (SRD) on the performance, carcass characteristics, digestibility and economics of production of weanling pigs. One hundred and forty four (144) crossbred pigs were weaned at approximately 14 days of age (averaged between 3.5kg in bodyweight) and randomly allocated to four dietary treatments in two replicates pens per diet with four pigs per pen in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Experimental diets were formulated such that diet I which served as the control contained 0% SRD (maize-based). Diet 2,3 and 4 contained 10, 30 and 50% SRD respectively. Results showed that the proximate analysis indicated that SRD contains reasonable amounts of protein, ether extract, nitrogen free extract and ash as well as high amount of fiber. There was a significant increase in feed intake with increase in dietary level of SRD. There was a significant depression of weight gain and protein efficiency ratio at 30 and 50% SRD inclusion levels while the weight gain and protein efficiency ratio of piglets fed treatment diets were not at variance with those fed 0% diet. The feed conversion ratio of the piglets depreciated numerically at 30, and 50% SRD dietary levels. The carcass parts expressed as percentages of live weight were not significantly influenced by the treatments except the thighs which had significantly high values in pigs fed control diet and less in the test diets. Result of the digestibility trial revealed significant (P<o.o5) differences between the control diet and the test diets. Significant improvements in digestibility and numerical improvements in DM, CP, CF and Energy digestibility were observed among the test diets. SRD inclusion at 50% proved more advantageous in terms of feed cost per kg of live pig and in percentage cost saving. It is concluded from the result of this study that SRD is a potential feedstuff in pig feeding at up to 50% dietary level beyond which, depression of growth can be expected.