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Performance of Broiler Chickens Fed on Mature Moringa oleifera Leaf Meal as a Protein Supplement to Soyabean Meal

Keywords: Moringa oleifera , broilers , protein , weight , carcass

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Abstract:

An exploratory study investigating the effects of supplementing soyabeans with Moringa oleifera leaf meal, as a protein source in poultry production was done at Bindura University Farm. Five different graded levels of Moringa oleifera meal were used in formulating the diets. Ration formulation using soyabean, yellow maize and Moringa oleifera meal as ingredients for broiler starter (20% Crude Protein) and broiler finisher (18% Crude Protein) diets was done using the Pearson Square Method. Twenty-five day old Habbard chicks were randomly allocated to the five treatment diets T1 (0% Moringa oleifera meal), T2 (25% Moringa oleifera meal), T3 (50% Moringa oleifera meal), T4 (75% Moringa oleifera meal) and T5 (100% Moringa oleifera meal) in a completely randomized design. Birds were managed under the dip litter system with five compartments each with five birds for a period of 6 weeks. Weekly weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were recorded throughout the period. Evisceration of carcasses was done after 6 weeks and the different body parts were weighed and recorded. Proximate analysis of Moringa oleifera meal, broiler starter and broiler finisher diets were done and the results were tabulated. Statistical analysis was done using Genstat Software Version 12. No significant differences were noted in the amount of feed taken by broiler birds under different treatments of Moringa oleifera meal, however significant differences in feed conversion ratios were noted. It was therefore concluded that inclusion of Moringa oleifera meal as protein supplement in broiler diets at 25% inclusion level produces broilers of similar weight and growth rate compared to those fed under conventional commercial feeds (p>0.05).

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