ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 65 Number 3
Use of diets containing high levels of copra meal for growing/finishing pigs and their supplementation to improve animal performance
An experiment was conducted to study means of improving the performances of growing/finishing pigs fed high levels of copra meal. Growth and carcass parameters were measured in 32 female and 32 castrated male animals fed over the liveweight range 25-85 kg. Increasing inclusion levels of copra meal (300 g kg-1 and above) seriously impaired growth performance of the animals (P<0.001). This effect was particularly pronounced during the finisher period where average daily gain of animals fed 500 g kg-1 copra meal was less than half that of those on a control diet. Supplementation of the diets containing 500 g kg copra meal with protein of superior quality or synthetic amino acids improved performance (P<0.001) almost to control levels. Effects of inclusion of high levels of copra meal on carcass characteristics were limited to reduced loin eye area (P=0.004) and longer carcasses (P=0.007) than the control. Increased level of inclusion of copra meal resulted in firmer fat (P=0.050) and reduced iodine value (P<0.001) suggesting an increase in the proportion of saturated fatty acids deposited.
Keywords: Copra meal diets; Growing/finishing pigs