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Effects of dietary Jatropha curcas on the haematology of weaned pigs

E Chivandi
S M Makuza
K H Erlanger
J P Mtimuni
J S Read
M Tivapasi


In a study to determine the effects of dietary Jatropha curcas on the haematological profile of pigs, 15 eight week old newly weaned Large White X Landrace gilts were used. The pigs were randomly allocated three dietary groups (D1, D2 and D3) and individually penned. Diets were formulated to be iso-nitrogenous and iso-calorific. The D1 group
served as the control and had a diet based on soya bean meal. In the D2 group, 12.5% of the soya bean meal was replaced with processed Jatropha curcas meal whilst there was a 25% replacement with J. curcas in the D3 group. The three groups were fed twice daily on a restricted feeding regime starting at 1kg feed/animal/day increasing
weekly by 100g. Supply of water was ad libitum for the three groups. After four weeks of feeding, 10 ml of blood was collected into tubes containing EDTA from each pig by venapuncture. The packed cell volume (PCV) was determined by microcentrifugation and haematology was performed using a Coulter counter. Osmotic fragility of the red blood cells was determined by calorimetric measurements of lysis in phosphate buffered saline of concentrations ranging from 0-0.85% saline. Animals fed diets with Jatropha meal had reduced fragility of the red blood cells. Their packed cell volume, platelet count, white blood cell count, haemoglobin and mean corpuscular volume were
significantly lower (p<0.05) than the D1 group. There was no significant difference observed between the groups in the mean corpsucular haemoglobin. The pigs fed the Jatropha based diets had lower average daily gains than the control group.

(Zimbabwe Veterinary Journal, 2000, 31 (4): 83-91)

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