Growth performances and carcass characteristics of cavies supplemented with asteraceae or an enriched protein ration
An 8 week trial to evaluate the effect of supplementation with Asteraceae or a protein enriched ration on the growth performances and carcass characteristics of cavies was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm (FAR) of the University of Dschang. Prior to the experimental phase a two weeks acceptability trial was conducted to select two best asteraceae from Galinsoga, sp, Bidens pilosa and Ageratum conysoïdens. The two best legumes were used in the feeding trial. 96 young cavies (48 males and 48 females) from two Regions of Cameroon (West and North-West), were randomly distributed in a 3x2x2 factorial design according to diet, sex and origin. The experimental diets constituted of Penissetum clandestinum + basic diet (T0), Penissetum clandestinum + Galinsoga sp + Bidens pilosa (T1), and Penissetum clandestinum + proteins enriched ration (T2). Results from the acceptability trial indicated that Galinsoga sp was significantly (P<0.05) more palatable followed by Bidens pilosa. This results formed the basis for inclusion of treatment T1 in the feeding trial. Results from the feeding trial showed that supplementation with Asteraceae (T1) significantly (P<0.05) increased feed consumption (181.07±10 and 194.48±6.02g for animals collected from North West and West Regions respectively). Feeding with Asteriaceae (T1) was also associated with a higher feed conversion ratio (7.59±0.24 and 8.24±0.31 for North West and West respectively) as compared with T0 and T2. The same trend was observed for T1 in live body weight (327.70±42.62 and 303.75±22.52g), weight gain (2.08±0.40, 1.92±0.68g) and carcass yield (42.35±4.12 and 44.38±2.07%) for animals coming from the North West and West Regions respectively. However, no significant differences were observed between the treatments for these parameters although feeding with Asteraceae had higher values. It can be concluded from this study, that Asteraceae can be valorized in feeding for growing cavies.