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2012Open access

Nutritional status of local pigs in Central Lao PDR

Chittavong, Malavanh


The feeding regime, health status, feed allowance, body weight and mineral status of local pigs kept by smallholder farmers in Lao PDR were assessed. The long-term effect of supplemental salt (NaCl) on voluntary feed and water intake, growth, sodium (Na) and potassium (K) balance was evaluated in local pigs, and faecal K/Na ratio was assessed as a marker of Na intake in pigs. A field study of management of local pigs kept by smallholder farmers was carried out in three districts (Borrikun, Khamkeuth and Pakkading) of central Lao PDR, where pig keeping is mainly women's work. The main feed ingredients used in the region are rice bran and cassava root, with agricultural by-products and green plants used as supplements to varying degrees. Daily crude protein and calcium (Ca) allowances to sows, piglets and growing pigs in all districts were lower than the recommended levels, as was Na allowance to growing pigs in Borrikun and Khamkeuth and to lactating sows in all districts. Phosphorus (P) allowance to growing pigs in Pakkading and sows in Borrikun and Pakkading was lower than recommended, but K allowance to both growing pigs and sows was higher. Piglet mortality was around 20%. Feed supplementation had no effect on the body weight of pigs raised by smallholder farmers, but affected plasma iCa concentration. Ionised Ca level was outside the normal range for all pigs. There was a tendency for higher faecal K/Na ratio in sows not supplemented with Na. In two experiments examining the effect of high and low levels of NaCl in the diet of native Moo Lath pigs, dietary Na content affected feed and water intake, Na and water retention. Low dietary Na level (0.6 g/kg DM) reduced intake, retention and weight gain, while high intake (3.0 g/kg DM) increased intake, retention, extracellular volume and weight gain, without increasing N and K retention. A dietary Na content of 1.2 g/kg dry matter proved sufficient to support a positive Na balance and growth in these pigs. Individual faecal K/Na ratio was a rough indicator of Na intake. Overall, the studies showed that the protein, Ca and Na supply to local pigs in central Lao PDR appears to be below requirements. Thus farmers should aim to include more green plant materials and NaCl in the feed allowance.


Local pig; feeding management; protein; minerals; mortality; growth; faeces; aldosterone; plasma protein; osmolality

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2012, number: 2012:87ISBN: 978-91-576-7734-1
Publisher: Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Permanent link to this page (URI)