ISSN: 2582-788X (Online)
The impacts of seasonal variation of Aflatoxins load on some pigs feeds in the tropics of Niger delta
The research was conducted to study the impacts of seasons on aflatoxins loads of some pig’s feedstuffs in the humid tropics was investigated, the feedstuffs sampled were cassava peels, cocoyam peels and palm kernel cake. The study lasted for thirty-two weeks. These feedstuffs were collected in two piggery farms in each of the four LGAs that make up Uyo zone of Akwa Ibom state, in both dry and rainy seasons. The collected feedstuff samples were analyzed in the laboratory for aflatoxins concentration levels using AOAC method of thin-layer chromatography (TLC) with some modifications. Data were collected from the aflatoxins laboratory analysis of these feedstuffs. The results of this study indicated the presence of aflatoxins in all the sampled feedstuffs, however the lowest concentration of aflatoxins which is 0.011 ppb is obtained in cocoyam peels and cassava peels while the highest concentration of aflatoxins obtained is 0.055 ppb in palm kernel cake, these values are within the tolerance limit in Nigeria for total aflatoxins, which is 20 ppb. The obtained aflatoxins levels are within range and poses less risk to pigs and pork consumers. The results also shows that there were no significant difference (P < 0.05) on the aflatoxins concentration levels of the feedstuffs at their sources, across the piggery farm locations, in the season and source of feeds interactions, as well as season and feedstuffs interactions. However the main effect of season on aflatoxins level which is 0.022 ppb and 0.044 ppb in the dry and rainy season respectively were highly significant (P< 0.01).Also the main effect of aflatoxins of the feedstuffs were highly significant (P< 0.01). There were higher values in the aflatoxins levels in all the feedstuffs sampled in the rainy season than in the dry season. It was therefore concluded that season has an impacts on the aflatoxins level of pig’s feedstuffs with rainy season favouring toxigenic mould metabolism and growth in the feedstuffs which produces aflatoxins as their metabolites than in the dry season in this study, hence adequate preservative measures, proper feed handling and storage should be adopted. It is therefore recommended that piggery farmers should adopt adequate preventive measures and also apply the various preservative storage methods in order to reduce the aflatoxins levels in feedstuffs especially in the rainy season for better performance of the pigs and safety of pork consumers.