Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics and Blood Profile of Pigs Fed Diets Containing two Quality Protein Maize (Golden Jubilee And Etubi) and Two Normal Maize (Local White and Imported Yellow) Varieties

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Two experiments were conducted to determine growth performance, carcass characteristics and blood profile of growing-finishing pigs and albino rats fed diets containing four different varieties of maize. In experiment I, twenty individually- housed, Large White pigs (12 males and 8 females) with an average initial body weight of 13.3 kg were allotted to the four dietary treatments labelled, Local Normal Maize (LNM), Imported Normal Yellow Maize (INYM), Golden Jubilee Maize (GJM) and Etubi Maize (ETM) using the Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The LNM diet was used as the Control. Each treatment was replicated five times, with a pig representing a replicate. Feed and water were offered ad-libitum. Average daily weight gains (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion efficiency (FCE) were monitored weekly during the experiment. Pigs were slaughtered after attaining a body weight of 70+0.5 kg to determine carcass characteristics. There were no significant effects of diets on ADFI and FCE but ADG and feed cost per kg gain were influenced by the diets. The values were 0.64, 0.61, 0.56 and 0.60 kg and GH¢1.74, GH¢1.90, GH¢1.76 and GH¢1.75 for the LNM, INYM GJM and ETM treatments respectively. The values for LNM, GJM and ETM were statistically similar (P > 0.05). Values for carcass length, dressing percentage, shoulder, loin, belly, thigh, and backfat thickness were not statistically different (P > 0.05) between the four dietary treatments. However, there were significant differences (P < 0.05) in the values for heart, liver, spleen, full gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the respiratory tract. These values were 0.19, 0.17, 0.21 and 0.22 kg (heart); 1.34, 1.26, 1.51 and 1.52 kg (liver); 0.11, 0.10, 0.14 and 0.11kg (spleen) and 7.88, 7.78, 6.99 and 7.80 kg (full GIT). The haematocrit (HCT), means cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), means cell haemoglobin (MCH) and platelets values were not affected (P >0.05) by the dietary treatments but the haemoglobin (Hb), white blood cells (WBCs) and red blood cells (RBCs) values were affected (P < 0.05) by the dietary treatments. The values for the LNM, INYM and ETM diets were similar for the haemoglobin and red blood cells. Significant differences were not observed (P > 0.05) for the albumin, globulin, total protein, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides levels recorded. In experiment II, twenty individually-caged albino rats were used. Feed and water were provided ad-libitum. The ADG and FCE values were significantly influenced (P < 0.05) by the diets but the ADFI values were not affected by the diets. The improved ADG and FCE values were in favour of the yellow maize varieties. With respect to the carcass characteristics, significant differences were not indicated (P > 0.05) for the empty and full GIT, heart, respiratory tract, spleen and viscera weights. However, the empty stomach, kidney and liver values were significantly influenced (P < 0.05) by the dietary treatments in favour of the yellow varieties. The results indicated that using GJM and ETM varieties had the potential of economic savings of GH¢10.00 per metric tonne.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Animal Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Animal Nutrition.