The effect of starter-grower pigs fed diets containing varying levels of dried cashew (Anarcadium occidentale L. ) PULP (DCP)

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Dried Cashew Pulp (DCP) was investigated for its nutritional quality. The DCP was obtained from Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Bole and was prepared from fresh ripe cashew apples by slicing the pulp into flakes after the juice has been extracted followed by sun drying to a moisture content of about 10 %. The crude protein, fat, ash, crude fibre in g kg-1 DM and digestible energy contents were 86.0, 99.6, 38.0, 116.0 and 14.38 MJ, respectively. In a subsequent feeding trial, twelve Large White starter pigs with an average initial weight of 13.3 kg were randomly allotted into four groups in a completely randomized design and fed diets containing 0, 50, 100 and 150 g DCP kg-1 to determine growth performance and carcass characteristics. Water and feed were provided ad-libitum. The level of DCP had no significant (P > 0.05) effect on feed intake but had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on weight gain. Final live weights were 58.67, 53.0, 59.67 and 48.67 kg for pigs diets containing 0, 50, 100 and 150 DCP g kg-1 respectively. Furthermore the dietary treatments did not have significant (P > 0.05) impact on the various carcass traits, except ham weight. In this study, there were no health-related problems nor deaths that could be attributed to the inclusion of DCP in the diet. Feed cost per diet decreased with increasing DCP levels. The cost of feed to produce a kg weight gain was lowest for the diet containing the 100 g DCP kg-1. It was concluded that up to 100 g DCP kg-1 diet had a positive effect on pig growth performance and that partial replacement of energy sources such as maize and wheat bran with DCP is possible.
Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the degree of Master of Science in Animal Nutrition, 2008