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Moringa the Miracle Tree - animal fodder
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
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 not
only Mringa but those of Leucaena and Mulberry.
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.
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
BIOMASA conducted extensive trials 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
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
• 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
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.