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Banana stem is a common feed component for raising pigs in mountainous Southeast Asia. However, its nutritive value and digestibility are low.
This study was carried out to investigate the effects of unfermented and fermented banana stems on crossbred pigs concerning nutrient digestibility, productive performance, and intestinal morphology. Initially, an in vitro ileal digestibility test was performed for the following feedstuffs: fresh banana stem (BS), fermented banana stem (FBS), concentrate (C), fresh banana stem + concentrate (BSC), and fermented banana stem + concentrate (FBSC).
For the 120-day experiment, 16 crossbred pigs were divided into two groups and fed with BSC and FBSC. They were placed in individual cages and subsequently moved to metabolic cages for seven days to determine apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD). Finally, all pigs were slaughtered and their small intestines were analyzed for intestinal morphology.
The results show that pure fresh and fermented banana stems had low digestibility. However, their digestibility increased by 50% when mixed with concentrate. Crossbred pigs fed BSC and FBSC did not exhibit significant differences in their performance, but the intestinal morphology of the FBSC group had improved intestinal morphology, especially the villi height.
In conclusion, both fresh and fermented banana stems can be recommended in a low protein diet as feed for crossbred pigs in an improved production system. This is relevant for raising pigs in mountainous areas, as it has the potential to reduce feed cost and maintain production performance.
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