Effect of dietary inclusion of zeolite on performance and carcass quality of grower-finisher pigs
The effect of cliniptilolite supplementation at 0%, 3%, 4% and 5% inclusion level in pig grower finisher diets were investigated. 48 Large White x Landrace pigs (half castrated male and half female) aged 11 weeks with an average initial weight of 36.5kg were randomly allotted to 4 treatments, each having 3 replicates of 4 (2 castrates and 2 females) in a completely randomized design. The control group (T0) was given a commercial grower finisher diet without clinoptilolite while the treatment groups (T1, T2 and T3) received the control diet formulated such that the percentage of clinoptilolite inclusion was 3, 4 and 5% respectively. Pigs were fed feed dry concentrate equivalent to 4.5% their body weight through out the experimental period that lasted for 135 days. During the grower finisher period, a significant (P<0.05) higher daily weight gain compared with control was only observed with the substitution of 4% natural zeolite. No significant (P>0.05) difference was recorded among treatment groups for feed consumption and feed conversion ratio. For the fattening characteristics, the inclusion of clinoptilolite at different levels significantly (P<0.05) increased daily weight gain, reduced the marketing age, and feed conversion ratio (FRC) compared to the control. No significant difference was observed between treatment groups for internal organs (heart, liver and kidney) and chemical composition of meat but carcass yield and carcass length were significantly (P<0.05) higher for pigs fed with diet T2. Animals on the control diet recorded the highest (P<0.05) cost per kg gain compared to the others. It was concluded that grower finisher pigs could be fed diet containing up to 4% clinoptilolite (Zikeevski origin) without adverse effect on the performance of the animals.