Using non-conventional feed resources such as food industry by-products is becoming increasingly important to reduce feed costs. With the ban of antibiotics as feed additives considerable research efforts have been made to develop alternatives. In this context, many medicinal plants have attracted widespread attention due to their plant-derived properties and growth-promoting effects. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the effects of dried citrus pulp and fermented medicinal plants in growing–finishing pigs. A total of 96 growing-finishing pigs [(Landrace × Yorkshire) × Duroc] with average initial BW of 62.34 ± 1.96 kg were used in a 10-week trial. Pigs were randomly allotted to 1 of 3 dietary treatments based on body weight and sex in a randomized complete block design: a control treatment, with a basal diet (CON); a diet containing 10% dried citrus pulp (DCP); and a diet containing 10% dried citrus pulp supplemented with 0.1% fermented medicinal plants (DCP+FMP).
From weeks 0 to 5 and 0 to 10, pigs fed with the DCP+FMP diet had significantly decreased average daily feed intake and increased gain:feed ratio compared with those fed the CON diet. The ATTD of gross energy was greater, and serum total cholesterol concentration was decreased for pigs fed the DCP+FMP diet compared with those fed the DCP diet in week 10. Backfat thickness was unaffected by dietary treatment throughout the experiment. However, pigs fed the DCP+FMP diet showed an increase in longissimus muscle area compared with those fed the CON diet.
In summary, the results suggest that the addition of 10% dried citrus pulp in growing-finishing pig diets has no effects in growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood characteristics or meat quality. However, supplementing those same diets (10% DCP) with fermented medicinal plants is effective in lowering serum total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol and improving growth performance and longissimus muscle area.
Lei, X., Kim, I. H., & Kim, Y. (2018). Effects of dried citrus pulp and fermented medicinal plants on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood characteristics, and meat quality in growing-finishing pigs. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, (ja). https://doi.org/10.1139/cjas-2017-0170