Growth response and nutrient digestibility of growing pigs to qualitative and quantitative feed restriction
Feed restriction is a relevant management tool use in modificationof livestock growth patterns by reducing their maintenance requirement, leading to improved feed efficiency and utilization. This study assessed the effect of qualitative and quantitative feed restriction on growth parameters and nutrients digestibility of growing pigs. Fifty four (54) mixed breed pigs with initial body weight of 6.72±0.38 kg were arranged in a 3x3 factorial arrangement for a 150-day study: Factor A consists of 3 levels of qualitative feed restriction (20%, 18% and 16% crude protein) and Factor B consists of 3 levels of quantitative feed restriction (adlibitum, 90% and 80% of ad-libitum feed offered). The experimental animals were grouped on weight equalization into 9 treatment groups of 3 replicates of 2 pigs per replicate. Growth performance data were collected on weekly basis and nutrient digestibility was carried out on the 11th week of the experiment. Data obtained were subjected to two-way analysis of variance. Final body weight, daily weight gain and daily feed intake were significantly (p<0.05) influenced by increment in dietary crude protein.The pigs fed 20% crude protein recorded the best FCR of 1.36. Quantitative feed restriction had no influence on the growth parameters studied. Feed quality and quantity offered had significant (P<0.05) influence on excreted faeces, faecal dry matter output, excreted faeces/dry matter intake, dry matter digestibility, crude protein digestibility, ether extract, crude fibre digestibility and ash. Similar (P>0.05) mean values of excreted faeces, faecal dry matter output, excreted faeces/ dry matter intake, crude protein digestibility, crude fibre digestibility, ash and ether extract were recorded for pigs fed 18% and 16% of crude protein respectively. It can be concluded from this study that a combination of qualitative and quantitative restriction (at 18% crude protein with 80% of ad libitum feed offered)can be used as management tool to improve feed utilization in growing pigs.
Keywords: Qualitative, quantitative, restriction, growth, nutrients, pigs