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Sivilai et al., 2010. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 22 (4): 79

Document reference 
Sivilai, B. ; Chittavong, M. ; Preston, T. R., 2010. Reproduction and piglet performance in Mong Cai gilts fed a mixture of taro leaf silage and water spinach.. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 22 (4): 79
Abstract 

The study was conducted to determine the effect of dietary protein from taro leaf silage and water spinach on the reproductive and litter performance of Mong Cai gilts managed under farmer conditions in the mountainous northern region of Laos. A total of nine Mong Cai gilts with an average initial body weight of 35 kg were allocated to three households in Phuert village, Namor district, Oudomxay province. Each household were allocated three pigs and divided into three treatments according to a completely randomized design. The households served as the replicates. The pigs were fed with mixture of rice bran and maize meal supplemented with mixture of water spinach and taro leaf silage (50:50 DM basis) at 20 (T20), 40 (T40) and 60% (T60) of the diet DM. The gilts were mated at third oestrus by natural mating with the similar local Lao boar. The feeding level was 4% of body weight (DM basis) until pregnancy was confirmed, after which it was restricted to 1.5% of body weight. The gilts were fed increasing amounts upto five days after farrowing and then ad libitum feeding during the lactation period. Results revealed that the two vegetative sources had less than half the crude fibre present in the rice bran and twice the concentration of crude protein. The liveweight at farrowing and rate of liveweight gain during pregnancy decreased as the proportion of the mixture of taro leaf silage and water spinach increased. All sows returned to oestrus within seven days after weaning, with no differences among treatments. There were no differences among treatments in the numbers of piglets born and weaned and in mortality rate. The highest litter weight at weaning was observed with the diet T40 with no significant differences between the diets with the least and highest levels of forage. It is concluded that a mixture of taro leaf silage and water spinach can be used in the diet of Mong Cai gilts during pregnancy and lactation without affecting reproductive performance such as numbers of live piglets born and weaned, and the interval from weaning to oestrus

Citation key 
Sivilai et al., 2010