Pig farmers in Uganda are sighing with relief after the introduction of a low cost feeds alternative that has proved to be effective with farmers recording over 400grams of daily in body weights of their animals.
The technology which is easy to adopt has been fronted by scientists from International Livestock Research Institute ILRI. The technology commonly referred to as silage preparation and preservation thrives on the use of available crop feeds like potato vines, cassava leave, yams among others.
The preparation of these feeds mainly focuses on the need to have consistent supply eradicating the seasonal dependence syndrome and relieving all the anti nutrition compounds like enzymes and cyanides which render them ineffective feeds to animals in their raw form.
In order to prepare these feeds which are also ideal for dairy cows especially among farmers practices zero grazing, One first to acquire the potato vines, cassava leaves or yams. Chop the vines into smaller pieces in order to enhance compressing process and limit amount of oxygen in the mixture when being worked upon by the bacteria.
The chopped vines and leaves should be left in the sun for a few hours to reduce the moisture in it because too much moisture may bring in fungi or moulds which in the end become toxic to the animals which will feed on the feeds. In addition, fresh cassava leaves contain cyanide and therefore when left in the sun for 8 to 12 hours. According to Danillo Pezo From ILRI cassava leaves contain 25 to 30 percent protein while the sweet potato vines contain 16percent protein
Add a portion of salt, 5 percent maize bran and cassava flour. Mix them together and store in air tight container or polythene bag. The bacteria will rid the vines of the anti nutrition compounds like trypsin and reduce the PH. After fourth days, the silage feeds will be ready for use. It can be stored and re used later when the crop feeds are out of season and can even last for over 20 years.