South African Journal of Animal Science

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Lactation performance and blood metabolites in lactating dairy cows micro-supplemented with Moringa oleifera leaf meal

T.W. Kekana, U Marume, C.M. Muya, F.V. Nherera-Chokuda


This study examined the effects of micro-supplementation of Moringa oleifera leaf meal on lactation performance and blood metabolites of lactating dairy cows. Thirty Jersey cows (± 40 days in milk (DIM)) were supplemented with Moringa oleifera leaf meal (M) at 0 (M0), 30 (M30) and 60 g/cow/day. The experiment lasted until 90 DIM with 14 days adaptation. Milk yield was recorded daily and samples were collected once weekly to determine milk composition and total antioxidant capacity (MTAC). Blood samples were collected on days 54, 68 and 90 in milk to determine serum total protein (TSP), albumin (Alb), immunoglobulin G (IgG) and serum total antioxidant capacity (STAC). Body weight (BW) and milk yield were not affected (P >0.05) by Moringa supplementation. Moringa supplementation at M60 increased (P <0.05) milk fat and MTAC with a significant reduction in somatic cell count (SCC). Increased (P <0.05) total serum protein (TSP) and IgG with reduced (P <0.05) non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) levels were observed in M60. Increased (P <0.05) STAC levels were noted in all groups supplemented with Moringa. Micro-supplementation with Moringa oleifera at 60 g/cow/day markedly reduced oxidative stress, which resulted in improved milk quality and immunity in lactating Jersey cows.

Keywords: antioxidant herbs, antioxidative status, immunity, Jersey cows, milk yield

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