Low-Cost, Annual Feeds: Comparison of Pen-Level Growth Performance in Uganda Native and Hybrid Pigs Fed Forage or Silage

Authors:Han Bennema, Mike Corbett, Catherine Smith


Smallholder farmers in East Africa reported that feed shortages, seasonal feed shortages, quality and cost were the main constraints to raising pigs. Commercially prepared pig diets are too expensive and people compete with pigs for food. Small farmers usually feed on an unbalanced diet, resulting in lower average daily earnings (ADG) and lower farmers’ profits. Our goal is to compare the daily gains of Ugandan pigs fed forage or silage or commercial feed. Uganda weaned piglets are randomly assigned to feed or silage-based diets or commercial diets. Pigs were weighed every 3 weeks from 9 to 32 weeks of age. Daily linear gain and feed conversion ratios in various diets were compared using multiple linear regression. The daily gain of pigs fed forage or silage was lower than the daily gain of pigs fed 9 to 24 weeks of age at commercial feeding (p < 0.05). Between 28 and 32 weeks, pigs fed the diet had lower ADG than other fed pigs (p < 0.05). At 9-15 weeks, the average daily gain (g/pig/day) of pigs fed forage or silage or commercial feeding was 36, 52 and 294, respectively. It was 163, 212, and 329 at 15-19 weeks, 112, 362, and 574 at 20-24 weeks, and 694, 994, and 1233 at 28 to 32 weeks. The conclusion is that feeds based on feed and silage are not suitable for small weaned piglets. It is more appropriate to feed pigs based on concentrate or silage. Feed and silage-based feeds are low-cost pig feeding strategies throughout the year that will improve the growth performance of East African pigs, thereby increasing the income and food security of pig farmers.

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