Livestock Research for Rural Development

Volume 10, Number 3, 1998

Abstracts of papers in LRRD, Volume 10, Number 3


On-farm comparison of Mong Cai and Large White pigs fed ensiled cassava root, rice bran and duckweed

Nguyen Van Lai

University of Tropical Agriculture Foundation, Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh city
E-mail :


The hypotheses to be evaluated in this study were: Mong Cai pigs would eat greater amounts of duckweed (Lemna minor) than Large White pigs; and that duckweed growing well in natural ponds would be a suitable on-farm source of protein for diets based on rice bran and ensiled cassava roots. Eight Mong Cai piglets (2 - 14 kg) and eight Large White pigs (from 10 - 13 kg) were used for this study. Four farm families were selected to participate in the experiment. Each farmer received two Mong Cai and two Large White piglets. The pigs were fed fresh duckweed and ensiled cassava root ad libitum and a fixed amount of rice bran (500 g/pig/day). Feed intake was recorded daily and the pigs were weighed every ten days.

The Mong Cai pigs grew faster than the Large White pigs and this was consistent for every participating family. The average liveweight gain (g/day) for Mong Cai pigs was 200 and for Large White pigs 87. Mong Cai pigs ate a greater proportion of their diet in the form of duckweed with the result that their protein intake was higher (48.2 g/day) than for the Large White pigs (27.9 g/day). Dry matter conversion was better in the Mong Cai.

The results of this on-farm experiment provide some indications that there may be an interaction between nutrition and genotype when a critical component of the diet (eg: protein) is present in a voluminous vegetative state as is the case for fresh duckweed.

Key words : Pigs, Mong Cai, Large White, protein, duckweed, ensiled cassava root


Effect of Sesbania grandiflora, Leucaena leucocephala, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Ceiba pentadra on intake, digestion and rumen environment of growing goats

Nguyen Thi Hong Nhan

Agriculture Faculty, Cantho University, Vietnam


A study was carried out at Cantho University from March to June 1997 to determine effects of foliage of Sesbania grandiflora , Leucaena leucocephala , Hibiscus rosa -sinensis and Ceiba pentadra on intake, digestion and rumen environment of growing goats. The design used four goats (10-12 kg live weight) in a Latin square arrangement of four treatments (the tree foliages) with 21 day periods.   Feed intake, total faecal and urine output were recorded during the last fifteen days of the study period. On the last day of each period, rumen fluid was obtained with a stomach tube before and 4 hours after offereing feed in the morning. Intake of fresh foliage was similar (P=0.24) on all treatments but dry matter and crude protein intakes differed significantly (P=0.001) with highest values for Sesbania, followed by Leucaena, Ceiba and Hibiscus. Apparent dry matter digestibility coefficients were 74.8, 75.9, 68.0 and 76.0 % for  Sesbania, Leucaena, Hibiscus and Ceiba, respectively, and did not differ between foliages. There were significant differences (P=0.038) in apparent digestibility of crude protein with lower values for Hibiscus and Ceiba (50.5 and 49.3 %) compared with Sesbania and Leucaena (63.7 and  66.5 %). Feed dry matter intake was highly correlated (R = 0.86) with intake of crude protein.  Changes in liveweight were 143, 80, 51 and 74 g/day (P=0.067) for Sesbania, Leucaena, Hibiscus and Ceiba, respectively. Rumen ammonia levels and protozoal counts after feeding were higher for Sesbania and Leucaena than for the other two foliages.

It is concluded that the foliage of Sesbania grandiflora and Leucaena leucocephala has a higher feeding value for goats than that from Ceiba pentadra and Hibiscus rosa -sinensis, but that all four foliages will provide more than maintenance needs for growing goats.

Key words: Goats, Sesbania grandiflora, Leucaena leucocephala, Hibiscus rosa -sinensis, Ceiba pentadra, feed intake, digestibility, rumen environment


Utilization of some forages as a protein source for growing goats by smallholder farmers

Nguyen Thi Hong Nhan

Agricultural Faculty,  Cantho University,Vietnam


This study was aimed at evaluating the role of foliage from four leguminous trees (Sesbania grandiflora, Leucaena leucocephala, Hibiscus rosa-sinuensis and Ceiba pentadra) as a component of feeding systems for growing goats in the My Khanh village in the Mekong delta.

Leaves and thin stems, the parts of the foliage that are consumed by goats, were collected every afternoon from March through to June, 1998. The amount of fresh foliage collected per unit of time was significantly higher for Hibiscus rosa-sinuensis than for three other tree species (Sesbania grandiflora, Leucaena leucocephala  and Ceiba pentadra). The lowest harvest rate was for Sesbania grandiflora.

Two feeding trials were done with the leguminous tree foliage as the sole component of the diet or as supplements to the fresh husk obtained from maize ears harvested at the immature (baby corn) stage. Eight smallholder farm families participated in each trial. Two young goats were distributed to each family and were housed in separate pens in a simple shed with raised slatted floor. In the trial with the tree foliages as the sole diet, the highest liveweight gains were with Sesbania grandiflora (114 g/day) followed by Leucaena leucocephala (98 g/day), Ceiba petandra (94 g/day) and Hibiscus rosa-sinuensis (77 g/day). Feed intakes (fresh foliage) were in the range of 2.5-2.9 kg/goat/day. In the trial with husk from immature maize the treatments were the fresh husk as harvested,  or after ensiling,  and with supplements of either Sesbania grandiflora or Leucaena leucocephala providing half the offered dry matter together with fresh husk.  Best liveweight gain was with the supplement of Sesbania (112 g/day) followed by Leucaena (80 g/day). On the fresh husk as the only feed the growth rate was 50 g/day and was better than with the ensiled husk (32 g/day).

It is concluded that foliage from  Sesbania grandiflora has a high potential as a feed for growing goats, either as the sole component of the diet or as a supplement to the fresh husk from immature maize.

Key words: Goats, maize ear husk, Sesbania grandiflora, Leucaena leucocephala, Hibiscus rosa -sinensis, Ceiba pentadra, harvest rate, liveweight gain


Digestibility and nitrogen retention in fattening pigs fed different levels of ensiled cassava leaves as a protein source and ensiled cassava root as energy source

Du Thanh Hang

College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University, Vietnam


This study aimed to evaluate different additives for ensiling cassava leaves and the use of the product as a protein source for pigs. Cassava leaves were wilted and ensiled in plastic bags with 5 or 10% "A" molasses and 10 or 15 % rice bran (fresh basis).   After 7 days of ensiling the leaves the level of HCN had fallen from 177 mg/kg dry matter in the fresh leaf to 80 mg/kg in the ensiled material. There was a further slight reduction in HCN level up to 14 days but no change at 21 days. There were no differences attributable to kind or level of additive.

Digestibility and nitrogen balance trials in a double 4*4 Latin square arrangement were conducted to evaluate substitution of fish meal by ensiled cassava leaf (ECL; levels of 0, 50, 75 and 100 g/day of protein) in diets based on ensiled cassava root (ECR). It was observed that the pigs were reluctant to consume all the ECL, especially when this was at a high level in the diet. Thus the actual intakes of protein from the cassava leaf silage were less than the planned amounts being 36, 63 and 62 g/day compared with the planned quantities of 50, 75 and 100 g/day, respectively. Intakes of fish meal were 134, 92, 69 and 46 g/day and were only slightly less than the planned quantities of 150, 100, 75 and 50 g/day, respectively. The biggest difference between planned and recorded intake was for the intended 100 g/day of protein from ECL with the actual intake being only 62 g/day, thus total protein intake on the highest level of ECL was only 127 g/day compared with the intended level of 150 g/day.  There were no differences in total dry matter intake whereas it was expected that this would have increased with increasing levels of ECL in order to compensate for the lower protein content in this feed compared with fish meal.   There was an indication (P= 0.08) that apparent diet digestibility of dry matter decreased with increasing level of ECL (from 90.1 to 87.4% for 0 to 100 g/day protein substitution). The decrease in crude protein digestibility (from 86.6 to 79.6% from 0 to 100 g/day protein substitution) was highly significant (P=0.001). Nitrogen retention was 14.5, 13.8, 12.0 and 9.91 g/day for ECL0, ECL50, ECL75 and ECL100 diets, respectively. The differences between ECL0 and ECL50 compared with the higher levels of ECL were highly significant (P=0.001). Nitrogen retention values, as percent of N intake and N digested, were high on all diets (ranges were 57-58% and 66 to 61%, respectively) and did not differ among diets, indicating efficient utilization of the absorbed amino acids. There were no indications of cyanide toxicity on any of the diets.

Key words: Ensiled cassava leaves, ensiled cassava root, protein, digestibility, nitrogen retention, growing pigs


Ensiled cassava leaves and duckweed as protein sources for fattening pigs on farms in Central Vietnam

Du Thanh Hang

College of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University, Vietnam


Forty-four crossbred pigs (mainly Large White x Mong Cai) about 3 months old and 23-25 kg initial weight were allocated  among  two groups of families (4 pigs/household) to compare effects of supplementing the traditional diet with either ensiled cassava leaves or fresh duckweed. In six farm households (trial 1) the comparisons (two pigs per treatment) were:  ensiled cassava root, brewery by-product (brewers' grains), rice bran and sweet potato vines (control) or the same as the control but with ensiled cassava leaves replacing the sweet potato vines. The cassava leaves were ensiled with 5 % molasses and stored 21 days before feeding. The cassava roots were ensiled with 0.5% common salt and stored 21 days before feeding. In five farm households (trial 2) the comparisons (two pigs per treatment) were the same as for the trial with ensiled cassava leaves except that fresh duckweed replaced the ensiled cassava leaves. The duckweed (Lemna minor) was grown in artificial ponds lined with polyethylene sheets on one farm and in natural ponds in the others.  The ponds were fertilized with manure from buffaloes and pigs.   The duckweed was harvested daily and fed immediately after harvesting.

In five out of six farms in the first trial, pigs fed ensiled cassava leaves grew faster than the controls receiving sweet potato tops, but the overall difference was not significant. On all five of the farms in the second trial, the pigs supplemented with fresh duckweed consumed more dry matter and grew 35% faster (P=0.001).  It is concluded that in pig fattening diets based on ensiled cassava root, rice bran and brewers' grains: ensiled cassava leaves can replace sweet potato vines with no effect on growth or carcass traits; and that fresh duckweed (providing 5% of the diet dry matter) has a stimulating effect on liveweight gain which may be partially explained by the additional intake of protein, although other factors are likely to be involved.

Key words; Pigs, fattening, on-farm, cassava, ensiled cassava leaves, duckweed


Biodigester effluent versus manure from pigs or cattle
as fertilizer for production of cassava foliage (Manihot esculenta)

Le Ha Chau

Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


A field experiment was conducted during five months from 1 December 1997 to 30 April 1998) in the University of Tropical Agriculture on the College of Agriculture and Forestry Campus, Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The experimental soil was grey podzolic. The trial was laid out in a randomized block design, replicated three times with a plot size of 4 x 2.5m and four treatments of organic fertilizer application to cassava grown for forage. The treatments were:

The raw manure was applied before planting and after the first harvest (at three months). The effluent was applied every three days. Quantities of each source were estimated to provide 200 kg nitrogen/ha/year. The cassava was harvested for forage (cutting height 70 cm above ground level) after 3 months and again 2 months later. The foliage was separated into stem and leaf + petiole and analyzed for dry matter and nitrogen. Soil analysis was done before planting and again 5 months later.

Effluent was significantly better than raw manure in supporting a higher biomass yield and protein content of the foliage. The source of the manure did not affect these parameters. Yields of fresh leaf plus petiole were 6.45 and 5.16 tonnes/ha/harvest for effluent and manure, respectively (SE0.15; P=0.001). Protein percentages in dry matter of leaf and petiole were: 27.6 and 24.2 (SE0.165; P=0.001).

There were marked improvements in soil fertility parameters as a result of applying either manure or effluent.

Key words: Cassava, biodigesters, effluent, manure, forage, biomass, fertilizer, integration


Biodigester effluent versus manure, from pigs or cattle, as fertilizer for duckweed (Lemnaceae)

Le Ha Chau

Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


The research had the following objectives: to document the observed improvements in nutritive value (protein content) and yield of duckweed when biodigester effluent, rather than original manure, is used to fertilize duckweed ponds; to determine optimum fertilizing level of manure and effluent for duckweed; to determine if there are differences between manure and effluent from cows versus pigs as fertilizer for duckweed ponds.

The treatments were:

The design was a factorial arrangement (2*2*3) and there were 4 replications in a completely randomized layout. The experiment was conducted for 24 days in the rainy season (August 1998).  Plastic baskets (n=48) lined with plastic film were used as the experimental ponds. The surface of the water in each basket had an area of 0.145 m and with 10 cm depth the volume was 14.5 litres. Each container was inoculated with 40g (250g/m2) of duckweed (Lemna minor). Amounts of input manure and effluent from plastic plug-flow biodigesters were added daily to the ponds to maintain nitrogen levels at approximately10, 20 and 30 mg/litre.

With the same input of nitrogen, plants nutrients derived from biodigester effluent supported higher concentrations of crude protein in duckweed, than nutrients from raw manure. Manure and effluent from pigs tended to support higher concentrations of crude protein in duckweed than when cows were the source of these inputs. The optimum level of nitrogen in the pond water was in the range of 20 to 30 mg/litre. Root  length of duckweed was inversely related with protein content.  Higher pH of the pond water in the range pH 6.4 to 7.2 was associated with duckweed of higher protein content.

Key word: Bioconversion, wastewater, farmyard manure, duckweed, biomass, nitrogen, protein, recycling

Prediction of body weight on the basis of body measurements in mature indigenous chickens in Senegal

E F Guye*, A Ndiaye** and R D S Branckaert***

Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA), PO Box 2057, Dakar-Hann, Senegal
*Present address (Animal Production Service, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy)
** Directorate of Livestock (DIREL), Ministry of Livestock, PO Box 67, Dakar, Senegal
***Animal Production Service, Animal Production and Health Division, FAO, Rome, Italy


Data on body weight and body measurements were individually collected from mature Senegalese indigenous fowls at two central poultry markets in Dakar, Senegal, between March and September 1998, with the objective to investigate the possibilities of using body measurements to predict the body weight of birds with high level of accuracy. Results, obtained from 502 males and 325 females, revealed that more males (60.7 %) were removed from fowl flocks for sale. The males showed higher body weights and body measurements (P<0.001).

Correlation coefficients between the body weight and the circumference of chest were strong and high (P<0.001 in males as well as in females). The body weight was also correlated to the body length (P<0.001 in males and P<0.01 in females). Thus, the circumference of chest and the body length are the body measurements that are most suitable for the prediction of the body weight.

Key words: Body measurement, body weight, indigenous chicken, Senegal

Evaluation of the impact on women's lives
of the introduction of low cost polyethylene biodigesters
on farms in villages around Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Mette Ide Lauridsen

University of Agriculture and Forestry,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


The introduction of polyethylene biodigesters in villages around Ho Chi Minh City has had a very positive impact on the lives of women. It has reduced their workload because they save time on collecting and buying firewood and on cooking. It has also other advantages such as a better and cleaner environment on the farms and in the kitchen, cleaner pots and pans, and saving of money. The improvement of women's lives is one of the main reasons why it is important to spread out the technology of polyethylene biodigesters to other parts of Vietnam and to other countries. When planning further extension of the methodology more attention should be paid on involving the women in the process by holding information meetings, training courses and by contacting them directly on the farms. If that is done the introduction of biodigesters could also have a positive impact on the social life of women.

Key words: Women, biodigesters, extension, quality of life


Climbing out of poverty through credit; or what do
cows have to do with it?

Helen Todd

CASHPOR, 6 Lrg., Permata (Lobak),
70200 Seremban, N.S. ,Malaysia


The Grameen Bank approach to micro-credit is by now well known. What may be less well understood is that a large share of the initial loans is invested in animals. Across projects and countries in Asia there is an ideal progression that even the poor aspire to. It starts with ducks and chickens; then a few goats are kept for milk or fattening and to slaughter for a day of sacrifice; next a milch cow; then a bullock for ploughing in cooperation with another one-buffalo family; then two bullocks, which can be used to plough the fields of others. An example is given of one Micro-finance institution in India, where more than two thirds of the loans in the first and second loan cycles were invested in animals. In another case from Bangladesh women had had access to loans for several years and were into their 8th to 11th loan cycles. It was found that their ultimate objective was to get access to land for which possession of a cow or bullock make them attractive sharecroppers for the landlord. However, they still kept small animals to provide them cash for minor, but important expenses like purchases of seeds, fertilizer or attendance to a relative's marriage. However, for the very poor women, who are into their first loans, small animals have a priority as they require less space, shelter, and feed and are easier to protect against theft. It is pointed out that there are problems in establishing linkages between the Micro-finance institutions and technical livestock organizations, but that weekly center meetings bring together 30-40 enterprising women, who would provide a very captive audience for an extension worker.

Key words: Micro-credit, women, animals, investments

Go to top