Performance of broiler chickens fed on Moringa oleifera leaf meal supplemented poultry feed
This exploratory study was conducted to investigate the effect of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MoLM) supplemented diets on the performance of broiler Chickens. Four different graded levels of Moringa oleifera leaf meal were used to formulate poultry feed. Ration was formulated using soyabean, yellow maize and Moringa oleifera leaf meal as ingredient for broiler booster (20% Cruide Protein) and broiler finisher (18% Criude Protein) using Pearson Squire Method. One hundred and sixty day old unsexed broiler chicks were randomly allocated to four treatment (iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous) diets as T1 (0% Moringa oleifera leaf meal), T2 (0.5% Moringa oleifera leaf meal), T3 (0.75% Moringa oleifera leaf meal) and T4 (1.0% Moringa oleifera leaf meal) in a Completely Randomized Design. The birds were distributed into 4 replicates comprising 10 chickens per replicate and managed under dip litter system for a period of 8 weeks. Water and feed were provided at ad libitum. Feed consumption, weight gain and feed conversion ratio were evaluated for the individual replicate of each dietary treatment. In addition, slaughter weight and carcass weight of the birds were recorded throughout the period. Statistical analysis was done using the general linear modeling procedure of SAS. The results obtained showed that significant differences existed in weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio. It was also observed that, addition of Moringa leaf meal up to 1.0% to broiler chicks diet significantly lowered weight gain, feed efficiency and body weight during starter period. During finisher and whole periods however, supplying broiler chick‘s diet with 0.5% Moringa leaf meal resulted in significant increase in feed consumption, but addition of different levels of Moringa leaf meal had no significant effects on weight gain, feed efficiency and final live body weight. It was concluded that the use of Moringa leaf meal in the broiler diet adversely affected the performance during starter period, but enhanced the performance during finisher and whole period. The study also reveals that Moringa leaf meal can conveniently supplement expensive sources of protein in broiler diet without compromising performance.
Keywords: Moringa oleifera, Leaf Meal, Broiler, Growth and Supplementary Feed