Nutritive value of fresh cassava tubers, cassava root meal and cassava chips for growing - finishing pigs

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Three experiments were carried out to evaluate the nutritive value of fresh unpeeled cassava tubers, peeled, soaked cassava tubers, cassava root meal and cassava chips as energy sources for growing- finishing pigs. The varieties used were sweet and bitter types. The initial weight of the pigs ranged from 12 to 38 kg and were slaughtered when they made 90 kg. Their feed intake, growth rate and carcass characteristics were determined. The digestibility trial involved 4 castrated males in a 4x4 Latin square design. Performance of pigs was comparable to pigs fed other energy sources (or commercial cereal based diet). Pig growth rate ranged from 478 to 660 g/pig /day. Digestibility and feed efficiency of cassava-based diets were high, although young pigs (below 20 kg) tended to develop gastro-intestinal disturbances and parakeratosis when fed fresh cassava. The carcass quality was slightly affected. Carcasses from pigs fed on cassava diets were leaner and heavier than those on other rations. The studies concluded that varieties of sweet cassava could be fed fresh to pigs either peeled or unpeeled or in form of cassava chips. Further, fresh cassava can be soaked in water for one day whereas cassava chips can be dried for 8 to 10 hours prior to feeding to reduce HCN levels. Cassava can constitute the only energy source in diets of pigs provided that such diets are well balanced for protein, minerals and vitamins. The use of cassava in livestock feeds will promote cassava production and provide a sustainable outlet for this underutilised but highly adaptable crop.



Nutritive value, cassava tuber, cassava root meal, cassava chips, finishing pigs