Livestock Research for Rural Development

1997, Volume 9, Number 5

Abstracts of papers in LRRD, Volume 9, Number 5


Parameters of digestion and N metabolism in Mong Cai piglets having free access to sugar cane juice and soya bean meal

Lylian Rodriguez, Thomas R Preston, Julio Ly and Nguyen Van Lai

Finca Ecologica, College of Agriculture and Forestry, National University, Thu Duc,
Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam


The basal diet fed to "local" Mong Cai pigs (14-21 kg live weight) consisted of fresh sugar cane juice and four levels of soya bean meal estimated to provide protein levels of of 4, 8, 12 and 16% in dry matter. The quantities of cane juice and soya bean meal were adjusted according to live weight, based on an anticipated total intake of dry matter of 4.4% of live weight. The experimental design was a 4*4 Latin square with periods of 8 days, four for adaptation and 4 for collection of faeces and urine. The piglets were adapted to the soya bean meal for 2 weeks before being allocated to the treatments.

There was an almost linear response in nitrogen retention as the offer level of soya bean meal was increased. This was in marked contrast with the pig's behaviour as most of them refused to eat more than the equivalent of 10 g N per day in the form of soya bean meal.. Based on these observations, and the recorded data, it is proposed that a level of about 50 g/day of apparently digestible protein is adequate for growing Mong Cai pigs in the weight range of 10-20 kg.

Key words: Pigs, Mong Cai, sugar cane juice, soya bean meal, protein levels, digestibility, N retention


The current stage and future prospects of guinea pig production under smallholder conditions in West Africa; 1. Global overview


M Nuwanyakpa, S D Lukefahr, D Gudahl and J D Ngoupayou

PLAN International, PO Box 25326, Messa, Yaounde,
Republic of Cameroon, West Africa


The Guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), a member of the rodent order, is considered a very promising "micro-livestock" species for rural development because it requires little capital, equipment, space and labor, and provides an inexpensive, readily available and high quality meat. From prehistoric times, it has been raised for food in the central highlands of the Andes region of Latin America. Guinea pigs (GP) are now also reared for meat in different countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Although GP contribute to the alleviation of protein deficiency in the diets of people in developing countries, they have largely been neglected as a livestock species. Most research reports have focused on the role of GP as laboratory specimens. Thus, their actual contributions to food production have been greatly ignored and/or underestimated by scientists, extension and other development workers, and policy makers in the agricultural sector in developing countries. Especially in Africa, there is little published information on their production, marketing and consumption under smallholder conditions in developing countries. In West Africa, much of the work on smallholder GP production has been done in Cameroon. This paper provides a global overview of GP production with a special focus on the traditional subsistence rearing system as practiced by limited-resource farmers.

Key words: Guinea pigs, smallholder, Africa, traditional systems

The current stage and future prospects of guinea pig production under smallholder conditions in West Africa; 2. Cameroon case

M Nuwanyakpa, S D Lukefahr, D Gudahl and J D Ngoupayou

PLAN International, PO Box 25326, Messa, Yaounde , Republic of Cameroon, West Africa


Although guinea pig (GP) production is becoming more widespread in West Africa most of the work on smallholder GP project development has been done in Cameroon by two organizations - Heifer Project International (HPI) and the Institute of Animal and Veterinary Research (known by its French acronym as IRZV). HPI is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that is committed to supporting integrated and holistic rural agricultural development projects worldwide. IRZV is one of the two research agencies within the Cameroonian Ministry of Scientific Research. As such , the findings from three studies conducted by HPI and IRZ animal scientists have been reviewed so that the current stage and future prospects of smallholder GP production in West Africa can be assessed.

Key words: guinea pigs, Africa , rural development, meat production

The sub-urban agro-ecosystem of maize production in the south-east hills of Mexico City as an important cultural and sustainable crop resource

H Losada, J Vieyra, J Rangel, A Zamudio y G Martínez

Animal Production Systems Area. Departament of Biology of Reproduction. Division of Biological and Health Sciences, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa. Av. Michoacán y la Purisíma. Col. Vicentina. Iztapalpa. C.P. 09340. México D.F..


A survey was carried out in order to discover the social, technical, economic and cultural mediums of maize production as practised on the terraces of the region of Xochimilco. The results showed that all the producers within the study area cultivated temporal native maize species in family plots located next to the homestead with the objective of meeting the nutritional needs of themselves and their animals. The various labours involved in the preparation of the soil, cultivation and harvesting were carried out, in the case of the majority of the producers (95%), using animal and human traction. The primary source of fertiliser was cattle manure. The maize grains were reported to be used in the preparation of staple foods in the local cuisine. A significant percentage of producers (45%) considered the seeds to have magical 'powers', able to secure a good harvest. The importance of maize in this terraced zone is discussed in terms of its role within the context of regional sustainability.

Key words: Maize, sustainability, local resources


Utilisation des fruits de Faidherbia albida pour l'alimentation des bovins d'embouche paysanne dans le bassin arachidier au Sénégal

Safiétou Fall-Touré, Elhadji Traoré, Kéba N'Diaye, N'Dèye Salane N'Diaye, Baye Mohammed Sèye

Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles. Laboratoire National d'élevage et de recherches Vétérinaires; URA Santé et Production Animales; BP 2057 Dakar Sénégal


Feed is the major constraint that limits the potential of the groundnut-growing region of Senegal to contribute to the nation's need for meat. The problem is at two levels: high quality concentrates are not available at an acceptable price and the technical skills of the livestock producers are rather weak. The tendency is to give a diet high in concentrates and not to control the amount that is given.

The use of products obtained from local natural resources in the area is an alternative that could help to overcome the feed constraints. In order to promote technologies that would facilitate the greater integration of natural resources in the production system two experiments have been carried out; one in our research laboratory and the other in cooperation with farmers in the Bambey region situated in the north of the groundnut-growing area. The aim of the experiments was to evaluate the use of the fruits of the legume tree, Faidherbia albida, as a component of the diet for fattening cattle.

The in vivo digestibility of the dry matter of the fruits of F. albida was done using four levels of substitution of the fruits and analysis by regression. The feeding trial was with young bulls fed for 52 days on farms in three villages in the Bambey region. The diet used contained (% DM basis): chopped sorghum stalks (26), sorghum bran (32), molassed-wheat bran (21) and F. albida fruits (21).

The results showed a non-linear response in diet digestibility according to level of inclusion of the F. albida fruits. The optimum level to maximise total ration digestibility would appear to be at least 75% (the maximum level used); however, as the fruits replaced rice straw of known low digestibility, this conclusion should be treated with caution.

In the on-farm trials, the mean values (for the three sites respectively) of feed intake, daily weight gain and profit (as % of investment), were 134, 123 and 124 g/kg W0.75; 1,100, 615 and173 g/day; and 2, 13 and 0. There was a significant difference (P<0.01) in growth rates between sites probably reflecting the skills of the individual farmer in cattle fattening.

The high rates of liveweight gain on two of the farms indicates that the fruits of Faidherbia albida have potential as an alternative feed resource in rations for fattening cattle at lower cost compared with use of excessive levels of concentrates.

Key words: Intensive beef production, cattle fattening, Faidherbia albida fruit, digestibility, feeding trials


A comparative study on the digestibility of cassava, maize, sorghum and barley in various segments of the digestive tract of growing pigs

Basilisa Pascual-Reas

Department of Animal Medicine and Production, Faculty of Veterinary Science,
University of Queensland, Australia


The apparent DM, OM and energy digestibilities of cassava, maize, sorghum and barley were determined at the different segments and over the total digestive tract of 16 growing pigs using a procedure of the General Linear Models (GLIM) of Statistical Analysis System, Inc. (SAS). The test materials were finely ground and fed at a 90% inclusion rate (table 3.2). The percentage level of DM, OM and energy digestibilities from the stomach, small intestine, caecum, large intestine and anus (faeces) were determined using TiO2 as inert marker. The apparent digestibilities of the of DM, OM and energy in the faeces were also compared between the marker and the total collection methods.

In general, cassava showed a significant linear decline of DM and energy flow starting from the stomach down to the caecum resulting in almost complete digestion by the end of the small intestine. A great proportion in the digestion of nutrients from sorghum and barley were observed to occur at the caecum and large intestine. While maize showed an almost similar digestibility with cassava in terms of energy, and with sorghum in terms of DM and OM.

The comparison of the marker and total collection methods in assessing the apparent digestibilities of the diets showed a generally significant higher values for cassava in each DM, OM and energy (P<0.001), and P<0.01, P<0.05 for the DM of sorghum and barley in the marker method, respectively. While the differences between two methods in digestibility in maize was not significant in any of the nutrients.

Key words: Pigs, maize, sorghum, barley, cassava, digestibility


The effect of forage and supplement on the intake, digestibility and balance of nitrogen in sheep fed with diets high in molasses/urea

H Losada, E Aranda and R Alderete

Animal Production Systems Area, Departament of Biology of Reproduction. Division of Biological and Health Sciences, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa. Av. Michoacán y la Purisíma. Col. Vicentina. Iztapalpa. México D.F. C.P. 09340


Eight pelibuey male sheep with a mean live weight of 40 kg and with fistulas in the rumen were used in a random design of treatments as follows: free access to molasses (with 2.5% urea); molasses/urea and cassava meal; molasses/urea and restricted access to forage; and molasses/urea, cassava meal and restricted forage. The animals were housed in metabolic cages in order to measure the digestibility and balance of nitrogen (N). All the sheep had free access to the molasses/urea, mineral salts and water. The grass provided was poor quality Napier (Pennisetum purpureum) at a rate of 1.5 kg (fresh basis) for each 100 kg of animal live weight, and dehydrated cassava meal was used as a supplement at a level of 150 g/animal/day. The experiment had a duration of 50 days, of which samples were collected on the last 5 days only, with the objective of extending the period of adaptation to the diet to a maximum and reduce the animal variability.

There was no evidence of toxicity by molasses in the treatments where forage was omitted. The daily intakes of molasses/urea in the treatments that included a source of forage were 0.615 and 0.562 kg per animal, in contrast to 0.427 and 0.330 kg per animal (P = 0.01) in the treatments where forage was not provided. This was reflected in the values obtained for the total intake of dry matter (DM) of: 0.427, 0.452, 0.945 and 1.0 kg per animal/day (P=0.001) in treatments of: molasses/urea only; molasses/urea and cassava meal; molasses/urea and forage; and molasses/urea, cassava meal and forage, respectively. The values for apparent digestibility of DM were 84.3, 84.9, 80.8 and 80.5% in that order, while those reported for the retention of N (as % of intake) were 1.4, 2.5, 25.1 and 24.4%, respectively. The intakes of water were 4.28, 4.60, 4.90 and 4.82 litres/animal/day (P= 0.05) which represented a ratio of water to DM of 10.0, 10.1, 5.2 and 4.8 litres/kg respectively. The role of forage in diets of molasses/urea is discussed within the context of its relationship to voluntary consumption of the feed.

Key words: Intake, molasses/urea, sheep, digestibility, nitrogen retention, molasses toxicity.

Assessment of various treatment conditions affecting the ammoniation of long straw by urea

M Hadjipanayiotou and S Economides

Agricultural Research Institute, 1516 Nicosia, P.O.Box 2016, Cyprus


The effect of moisture level (trials 1, 2 and 3) and of treatment period (trial 1) on the nutritive value of urea-treated straw (UTS) was studied in vivo and in sacco. In trial 2, untreated straw (US) sprayed with urea solution prior to feeding was compared with UTS and US. The effect of covering UTS with polyethylene sheet was studied in trial 4.

With the exception of crude protein content that was greater in UTS than US, there were no differences between US and UTS for crude fibre, ash, NDF or ADF. In vitro digestibility and in sacco degradability were greater in UTS than US. Maximum improvement was attained with the first level of moisture in trials 1 (200 litres/tonne) and 3 (300 litres/tonne), but in trial 2, UTS at 300 litres moisture/tonne had greater digestibility than UTS at 200 litres moisture/tonne. Although maximum digestibility and degradability of UTS were obtained in the second week of treatment, differences between treatment periods were not significant. There was superiority of UTS over US sprayed with urea prior to feeding (trial 2), as well as between UTS covered and non-covered (trial 4) following spraying.

Based on the findings of the present studies the following recommendations can be made for straw treatment under Mediterranean conditions. Treatment time of 1-2 weeks is required during summer months, and a moisture level of from 200 to 300 litres/tonne is sufficient for maximum response. Covered UTS is superior to non-covered, and UTS is also superior to urea-spraying prior to feeding.

Key words: urea treatment of straw, moisture level, reaction period, digestibility, degradability

Urea treatment of straw: a farmer - friendly system improved upon in Balochistan

P B O'Donovan, F M Soomro, J P Wagenaar, Shafiq-ur-Rehman and Farhat Abbas Bukhari

Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Government of Balochistan, Pakistan
(Project PAK/88/050)


Wheat straw provides in excess of 80% of the winter roughage for small ruminants (sheep and goats) in Balochistan province in Pakistan. This article addresses some of the issues that relate to upgrading of straw with urea and describes low-cost, practical and "farmer - friendly" ways by which this technology can be adapted to the needs of poor smallholder farmers. Emphasis is given to using existing sites (dispensing with pits and silos) and exploiting cheap covering materials available on the farm which can be sealed with mud.

Key words: Straw-treatment, urea, sealing with mud, smallholder farmers


La Fundación CIPAV y su Participación como ONG Colombiana en el Desarrollo Agropecuario Sostenible para el Trópico

Rubén G Espinel M

Fundación Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria -CIPAV-
Carrera 35A Oeste # 3-66 Cali, Colombia. A. A: 20591.


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