Utilization of Palm Kernel Cake as a Replacement for Maize in Diets of Growing Pigs: Effects on Performance, Serum Metabolites, Nutrient Digestibility and Cost of Feed Conversion

Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria


ADESEHINWA, A. O. K., 2007. Utilization of palm kernel cake as a replacement for maize in diets of growing pigs: effects on performance, serum metabolites, nutrient digestibility and cost of feed conversion. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 13: 593-600

A feeding trial was conducted using 36 growing Largewhite x Landrace pigs with initial live weight of 36.50±1.38 kg to determine the effect of replacing maize with palm kernel cake (PKC) on the performance and economy of production of growing pigs. The product (PKC) was included in the diets at the level of 50% and 100% to replace maize weight for weight (in the control diet containing 30 kg maize). The results obtained with the performance characteristics of the growing pigs during the 42-day experimental period showed no significant (P>0.05) difference among treatments. The average daily feed intake, daily weight gain, efficiencies of feed and protein utilization were comparable across the treatment groups. The cost of feed conversion, in terms of cost of feed consumed/day and the feed cost/kg live weight gain of the pigs decreased (P<0.05) with increasing levels of PKC in the diets. The apparent digestibility of the nutrients contained in the diets and serum metabolites of the growing pigs were not significantly (P>0.05) influenced by the replacement levels of the PKC. It can thus be inferred that PKC can effectively and efficiently replace maize, weight for weight, in diets of growing pigs as an energy source, even up to the total replacement of the maize fraction (30 kg/100 kg of diet) without depressing the performance of the growing pigs and the efficient utilization of the diet.

Key words: Growing pigs, palm kernel cake, performance, feed utilization, cost of feeding

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