Growth and reproductive performances of weaner pigs fed maize replaced cassava diet
The effect of Cassava replacing maize in the diet of grower pigs was investigated. A total of thirty six 5 week old male weaner large white \landrace cross pigs were used for thestudy. These were divided into four groups A – D "S (n = 9)"" followng two weeks of acclimatization. The basic ingredients in their diets were soybean meal (SBM) palm kennel cake (PKC), maize, cassava flour, vitamin premix and sodium chloride. Four dietsA – D were formulated using these ingredients. Diet A had maize only as the source of energy whie diets B, C and D had maize replaced with 50, 75 and 100% cassava respectively. Groups a, B C and D were maintained on diets A, B, C and D respectively from week 7 of age until they attained 5 months of age. Observations for clinical conditions like anorexia, diarrhea, fever and signs of hydrocyanic acid intoxications and sexual behavioral patterns related to puberty were made throughout the course of study. Moreover, weekly determination of live weights and testicular growth were also carriedout. There was no overt manifestation of any abnormality by the members of the maize replaced cassava diet. At 15th weeks of age, members o group B and C were showing signs of sexual maturity followed a week later by those of group A and at 19h week by all the groups. Performance of groups C and D members were generally inferior to those of groups A and B. (P < 0.05). However, all the groups had comparable testicular diameter. It was concluded that inclusion o cassava meal in the diet of grower pigs promotes growth and early maturity. To avoid cyanide poisoning the cassava processing should be done properly while protein source should be such as to prevent precipitating its deficiency due to the low protein value of cassava root meal.