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Abstract, Livestock Research for Rural Development, National University of Laos, 2018

Native Moo Lath pigs (n=20; initial live weight 15.8 ± 1.3 kg) were housed in individual concrete pens (1.2 *0.6m). They were fed a basal diet of ensiled banana pseudo stem and ensiled taro foliage supplemented with broken rice and soybean meal. There were four dietary treatments arranged as a 2*2 factorial in a completely randomized design with 5 replications. The treatments (% in diet DM) were: no additive (CTL), 4% rice distillers’ byproduct (RDB), 1% biochar (BIO) and the combination of RDB and BIO (RDB-BIO).

Growth rate tended to be better (p=0.089) and feed conversion was improved (p=0.048) for both additives, fed separately or together, when compared with the control diet. The improvements in weight gain were 20.1 and 22.9% for biochar and RDB added separately and 22.9% for the combined additives. For feed conversion the relative degrees of improvement were 10.6, 12.2 and 9.30%.  There were no benefits from combining both additives compared with feeding each one separately.  Whilst considerable research needs to be done, the possibility is that biochar and distillers’ byproducts bind toxins from the feed which are either excreted in the feces or degraded by some organisms in the animal’s gut microbiome.

Keywords: banana pseudo-stem, native pig, prebiotic, taro foliage