Vathana Sann, Sophorn Kimsan, K. Kreosna:
Nitrogen Balance of Ensiled Cassava Leaves in Piglets in Cambodia


1Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute for Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, Germany
2Royal University of Agriculture, Faculty of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Cambodia

Cassava is an important energy-providing crop in Cambodia which is mostly planted along the fertile Mekong river basin. The leaves are rich in nutrients but also in HCN, a toxic glycogenic compound. Its content can be reduced to non-lethal dose by ensiled. The experiment was conducted in the animal research station of the Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia to determine the nitrogen (N) balance of piglets fed ensiled cassava leaves (ECL). Eight castrated male piglets of Mongcai breed kept in metabolic cages were divided into two groups, A and B. Animals in group A were fed ECL mixed with fish meal and sugar palm syrup whereas this mixture was supplemented with 1% of Methionine, in the diet of group B. The feed ingredients of research diet are available local feed resource except the imported Methionine. Five days of data collection of feed residue, faeces and urine was implemented after 5 days of adaptation period. Even thought there was a higher trend in group B, no significant difference in nitrogen (N) digestion (65.06% of A and 72.45% of B) and daily individual N retention (9.78g of A and 12.24g of B) was found. However, group A had a lower N retention as % of N intake than B, 36.65% and 44.92 respectively (p < 0.05). There were investigated no significant difference between both groups in N retention as % of N digested (57.58 and 62.11) and organic matter digestion (51.32  and 54.72 respectively). According to this preliminary study, ensiled cassava leaves can be utilised as protein source in piglet diet without any negative effects. ECL originating from Mekong river basin required no supplementation of Methionine. Further animal feeding trial with optimum sample size should be conducted to confirm the result.

Keywords: Digestibility, ensiled cassava leaves, Methionine, piglets


Contact Address: Vathana Sann, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute for Animal Physiology and Animal NutritionKellnerweg 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, September 2004