Safety and efficacy of Moringa oleifera powder for growing poultry

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JO Ashong; DL Brown

Type of Document:
Scholarly Article


Journal of Animal Science

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
Not Available


Abstract: Leaves from Moringa oleifera have been reported to have a remarkable range of qualities from superior nutritional composition, therapeutic applications and prophylactic uses for both humans and animals. Most of these claims are based on anecdotes or uncontrolled observations. The objectives of the present study was to evaluate the safety and nutritional efficacy of Moringa oleifera leaf meal. At 7 d of age, 60 White-leghorn type chicks were randomly assigned to 4 isocaloric and isonitrogenous experimental diets formulated to contain 0% (control group), 10%, 20% and 30% moringa leaf powder. There were 5 chickens per cage with 3 replicates per diet. Daily feed intake and weekly BW were recorded for the duration of the 5 wk study. Chicks were observed for any signs of abnormal behavior and/or toxicity. Post-trial postmortem examination conducted included weighing of kidney, liver and heart and biochemical analyses such as, cholesterol, uric acid, thyroxine (T4), total protein and iron. There were no signs of abnormal behavior and/or toxicity and mortality during the entire period of the experiment. The control group had a higher feed intake (P < 0.05) with a corresponding higher weight gain (P < 0.0001) compared with the other treatment groups. Chicks fed with 10% moringa leaf meal, had the lowest feed intake although it did not correspond to the lowest weight gain. Heart, liver and kidney weights were heaviest in the control group even though the kidney weight was not significantly (P > 0.05) different from the kidney weights of chicks on the treatment diets. The heart weight decreased with increasing percentage of moringa leaf powder in the meal. The control group had significantly higher levels of cholesterol; triglyceride and uric acid. These results suggest that although incorporation of moringa leaf meal may reduce intake and rate of gain, this ingredient otherwise is not toxic to growing poultry and has some effects on blood lipids profiles that may be of interest to human nutritionists.

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