Interactive compensatory response of growing pigs to feed withdrawal periods and ascorbic acid supplementation
A total of fifty four Large White growing pigs with weight range of 21.70-23.89 kg were used in a 60-day trial to determine the compensatory response of growing pigs to feed withdrawal periods and ascorbic acid supplementation. The pigs were grouped on weight equalization into 9 treatments with 3 replicate groups of 2 pigs each. The experimental layout was a 3x3 factorial arrangement with 2 factors; factor A consisting of three levels of feed withdrawal periods (0, 2 and 4 hours) and factor B consisting of 3 levels of ascorbic acid supplementation (0, 1500 and 2500 mg/kg feed). Pigs were subjected to 90 days feed withdrawal periods with or without ascorbic acid supplementation and 60 days realimentation period. Growth performance, morphological and physiological parameters data were collected fortnightly. Results obtained revealed that final weight, weight gain, average daily weight gain, total feed intake, and average weekly feed intake were significantly (P<0.05) influenced by interactive effect of feed withdrawal periods and ascorbic acid supplementation during the realimentation period, pigs formerly subjected to 2 hours feed withdrawal period with 2500 mg/kg feed ascorbic acid supplementation recorded the best results for all indices of growth performance. Tail length and loin girth were significantly (P<0.05) compensated by the interaction between feed withdrawal periods and ascorbic acid supplementation. Physiological indices monitored were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the interaction between feed withdrawal periods and ascorbic acid supplementation. The results of this study indicated that pigs earlier subjected to 2 hours feed withdrawal period and ascorbic acid supplementation at 2500 mg/kg feed exhibited a better compensatory growth in terms of weight gain, tail length and loin girth as well as the vital signs of the pigs hence, it could be used as a management tool to improve growth performance and welfare of growing pigs.
Key words: Compensatory, physiological, supplementation and withdrawal periods
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