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Moringa as an alternative animal food


Poultry production plays a major role in bridging the protein gap in developing countries where average daily consumption is far below recommended standards.

Poultry production plays a major role in bridging the protein gap in developing countries where average daily consumption is far below recommended standards. However, the productivity of poultry in the tropics has been limited by scarcity and consequent high prices of the conventional chicken food.

Hence, there is a need to search for locally available alternative sources of protein for use as feed supplement to poultry.

Feed costs amount to a considerable proportion of production cost in any intensive livestock production system . It has been reported that, feed cost represents up to 60-80% of the total cost of broiler production. Fishmeal, a conventional feed resource, has been used as the source of animal protein in diets of poultry in many countries due to unavailability of cheaper alternative protein sources. With the present trend of rising prices of feedstuffs, considerable attention has been placed on the search for non-conventional feedstuffs.

Various leaf meals have been used in poultry diets, including those of Leucaena In laying hens, the recommended inclusion rate for leucaena leaf meal is 10 %. Mulberry is another excellent feedstuff plant due to its good adaptability, long cultivation history, mature planting techniques, high leaf yield, abundant nutrition, and a great deal of active substances of health care.

Mulberry leaf powder supplementation at 10% would cut down the cost of poultry feed. In addition the protein from Moringa leaves may be fed to poultry in the form of leaf protein concentrate.

Moringa leaf meals do not only serve as protein source but also provide some necessary vitamins, minerals and oxycaretenoids which cause yellow colour of broiler skin, shank and egg yolk. Feeding chickens with Moringa leaves and seeds will improve egg production.

The inclusion of Moringa oleifera leaves meal up to 30% in the diet of growing traditional Senegal chickens had no negative impact on live body weight,average daily weight gain, feed conversion ratio, carcass and organs characteristics, health and mortality rate in birds compared to their controls.

Considering these results and the high price of raw ordinary ingredients, particularly protein ingredient sources in poultry feeding; the recovering of these leguminous leaves in the diets of chickens is a real opportunity for traditional stockholders to improve at lower cost, not only the productivity and nutritional status of their birds but also their income with a 50% saving.



Sheep and Goats

It could be recommended that Moringa can help small and medium-scale farmers overcome shortages of good quality feeds and therefore sustain and improve their livestock productivity, and the Agroforestry can be adopted as strategic nutrition supplementation as many tree leaves, flowers and pods are identified as useful for improving milk production, milk fat, body condition and for the induction of estrus. In situations, where the available grazing is not generally sufficient to meet the maintenance requirements of animals, at least for part of the year, trees can alleviate the feed shortages or even fill up the feed gaps especially in the summer period when grassland growth is limited or dormant, due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Other animalls

Moringa leaves are readily eaten by cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and rabbits. Branches are occasionally lopped for feeding cattle. The residents cut back the main stem to encourage side shoots which they use for livestock feeding. Leaves can also be used for fish.

Sourced www.jsdafrica.com


BIOMASA conducted extensive trials using Moringa leaves as cattle feed (beef and milk cows), swine feed, and poultry feed.

Extensive trials have been conducted using Moringa leaves as cattle feed (beef and milk cows), swine feed, and poultry feed.

With moringa leaves constituting 50% of feed, milk yields for dairy cows and daily weight gains for beef cattle increased 30%. Birth weight, averaging 22 kg for local Jersey cattle, increased by 3-5 kg.

The high protein content of Moringa leaves must be balanced with other energy food. Cattle feed consisting of 50% Moringa leaves should be mixed with molasses, sugar cane, sweet (young) sorghum plants, or whatever else is locally available.

Care must be taken to avoid excessive protein intake. Too much protein in pig feed will increase muscle development at the expense of fat production. In cattle feed, too much protein can be fatal (from alteration of the nitrogen cycle).

Cattle were fed 15-17 kg of Moringa daily. Milking should be done at least three hours after feeding to avoid the grassy taste of Moringa in the milk.

With Moringa feed, milk production was 10 liters/day.
Without Moringa feed, milk production was 7 liters/day.

With moringa feed, daily weight gain of beef cattle was 1,200 grams/day.
Without Moringa feed, daily weight gain of beef cattle was 900 grams/day.

The higher birth weight (3-5 kg) can be problematic for small cattle. It may be advisable to induce birth 10 days prematurely to avoid problems. Incidence of twin births also increased dramatically with moringa feed: 3 per 20 births as opposed to the usual average of 1:1000.

Information sourced from www.nairaland.com

In addition Mulberry trees that can be grown under varied climatic condition, including fallow and wastelands not fit for agriculture can be used, totally or partly, for producing nutritious green fodder. Feeding mulberry as part of the daily ration of cows, improved the quality and quantity of milk and reduced calving intervals.


Fattening pigs on 50% Moringa stems and leaves, 10% Leucaena, 38% maize and 2% nutrient salts will lead to good growth rates and significant cost savings

Mulberry leaves and fruit can also be added to the pig diet by as much as 24% resulting in additional savings.


• Moringa leaf meal (MOLM) could be used to improve daily weight gain, and dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) digestibility of rabbits.
• Producing similar economic benefits as soya bean meal (SBM) diet.
• MOLM is non-toxic to rabbits at least at the 20% diet inclusion level.
• It has the potential to reduce cholesterol level in blood and the meat of rabbits.

• Moringa leaf meal (MOLM) has the potential to produce leaner carcass due to reduced fat deposition in the muscles of rabbits.
• Moringa leaf meal (MOLM)could be used to replace soyabean meal (SBM) partially or completely in rabbit diets as a non-conventional protein source,

Sourced: dspace.knust.edu.gh:

Mulberry Fodder in rabbit production:

The high levels of nurtriants intake and digestibility confirm the high nutritive value of mulberry eaves and their potential as a forage that can support rabbit production. With comparable DM intake, digestibility and weight gain as in all-concentrate ration achieved with up to 50% substitution of concentrate in rations, rapid growth rate of rabbits can be achieved at less cost. Where marketing opportunities does not necessitate rapid weight gains, producers may chose to substitute more concentrate or even feed mulberry leaves as a sole diet to achieve satisfactory gains at even lower costs.


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