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Animal. 2014 Aug;8(8):1298-311. doi: 10.1017/S1751731114000561. Epub 2014 Mar 27.

Forage plants as an alternative feed resource for sustainable pig production in the tropics: a review.

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1Animal Science Unit,University of Kinshasa,Mont-Amba,Lemba,Kinshasa,Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech,Animal Science Unit,University of Liège,Passage des Déportés,2,5030 Gembloux,Belgium.


Globally, pressure on concentrate feed resources is increasing, especially in the tropics where many countries are net importers of food. Forage plants are a possible alternative, but their use as feed ingredients for pigs raises several issues related to their higher fibre and plant secondary metabolites contents as well as their lower nutritive value. In this paper, the nutritive value of several forage species and the parameters that influence this nutritive value in relationship to the plant family, the physiological stage, the plant part and the preservation method (fresh, hay and silage) are reviewed. The influence of the breed and the physiological status of the animal on animal voluntary intake of fibre-rich ingredients, digestibility as related to gastrointestinal volume and transit time and growth performances are also discussed. The final section highlights the advantages and drawbacks of forage plants in pig diets and stresses the need for proper economic evaluation to conclude on the benefits of the use of forage plants in pig feed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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