Effects of feed withdrawal periods and ascorbic acid supplementation on growth performance and morphological measurements of growing pigs

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C.P. Njoku
O.J. Odutayo
O.Y. Ayo-Ajasa
T.A. Okunniyi
M.J. Agbeniga
O.A. Adeyemi


Eighty-one Large White pigs with weight ranged from 4.83 to 5.22 kg/pig were used to assess the influence of feed withdrawal periods and ascorbic acid supplementation on the growth performance and morphological measurements of growing pigs in a humid tropical environment. Pigs were acclimatized for one week and distributed based on weight equalization into nine treatment groups in a 3 × 3 factorial layout. Factor A consisted of 3 levels of feed withdrawal periods (0, 2, and 4 hours) and factor B consisted of 3 inclusion levels of ascorbic acid (0, 1,500, and 2,500 mg/kg feed). The individual treatment had three replicates with three pigs in each replicate group. Data collected on growth performance and morphological measurements on weekly basis were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance. Results indicated that growth performance indices and linear body measurements of pigs were not significantly influenced by the daily feed withdrawal periods. A numerically better feed conversion ratio of 2.36 ± 0.13 was observed in pigs subjected to 4 hours feed withdrawal period. The daily feed intake of pigs was significantly influenced by ascorbic acid supplementation (P < 0.05) with the highest value of 671.48 ± 37.20 g/pig recorded for pigs on 1,500 mg/kg dietary ascorbic acid supplementation. Interaction between feed withdrawal period and ascorbic acid supplementation showed a positive impact on feed intake of pigs (P < 0.05). It was thereby concluded that pigs can be raised on 2 or 4 hours daily feed deprivation periods without dietary ascorbic acid supplementation.

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