Trichantera: Cheaper Feed Substitute to Soybean Oil Meal

Trichantera: Cheaper Feed Substitute to Soybean Oil Meal

One problem among local hog raiser is the high cost of feed production. Costly commercial-mixed feeds such as the soybean oil meal (SBOM) contribute substantially to the high cost of feed ingredients as they have to be imported int he country as part of the protein requirement in pig ration. The necessity therefore to find cheaper substitutes to lower the production cost of both feeds and finisher pigs to attain higher returns has been imperative.

Attempts have been mad to look for an alternative source of protein to partially substitute SBOM in the diets of pigs, particularly the potentials of a fodder tree which is abundantly growing in the country – the Trichantera gigantea. T. Gigantea also known as nacedero or madder de agua is a non legume species that grows well with repeated cutting and without fertilizer input. This promising fodder tree, which ws introduced into the country some years ago from Latin America (Columbia and Venezulea) adapts well in local tropical conditions. IT can be planted to a wide range of soil types and elevations up to 1800 meters above sea level and can be planted at low densities of 20,000 pants per hectare. It grows easily between plantation crops and produces 40-60 tons per hectare of fresh foliage. A potential source of protein, its leaves contain 18-22% crude protein in dry matter form.
The potential use of this fodder tree was observed and investigated through a preliminary study conducted by researchers from the National Swine and Poultry Research and Development Center (NSPRDC) of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). After a preliminary feeding trial whereby SBOM was replaced with T. Gigantea leaf meal at 25% 50% and 100% in starter, grower and finisher rations respectively the pigs showed a comparable average daily gain of 602 grams. Furhtermore, it ws noted that using T. Gigantea in pig ratio, a farmer’s income increased to about 50%.
The potential use of this fodder tree was observed and investigated through a preliminary study conducted by researchers from the National Swine and Poultry Research and Development Center (NSPRDC) of the Bureau of Animal Indusry (BAI). After a preliminary feeding trial whereby SBOM was replaced with T. Gigantea left meal at 25% 50% and 100% in starter, grower and finisher rations, respectively the pigs showed a comparable average daily gain of 602 grams. Furthermore, it was noted that using T.gigantea in pig ratio, a farmer’s income increased to about 50%.
Although it can be given to pigs in fresh form, researchers advised that T. Gigantea be given to pigs as processed feed meal or mixed with commercial feeds to replace a portion of the total daily feed requirement.

Source: BAR Today Jan mar 2001 issue, Rita T dela Cruz
( This was based on the study entitled, Trichantera gigantea: A Potential Protein Substittute in Pig Ration. For more information, please contact Mr. Frank A Moog, Research Division Chief , Bureau of Animal Industry Department of Agriculture , diliman Quezon City or call at telefax 02 9205053

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