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Background: Rapid population growth of human and livestock create increasing demands for food, nutrition security in developing countries and therefore alternative feed resources must be identified and evaluated. This study was carried out to investigate the effects of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM) on supplemented feed on the growth and carcass quality of broilers in Calabar.
Methodology: Fresh leaves of Moringa oleifera were bought and collected from Calabar, Nigeria. The leaves were dried for four days and milled. A total of 40 broiler chicks that 48 day-olds, unsexed (rose 308) were sourced from a reputable poultry farm in Calabar. The broiler chicks were randomly allotted to four treatment groups (A, B, C and D). 0%, 5%, 10% and 15% of MOLM were incorporated into the broiler feed which constituted the four treatment groups. Each group was replicated ten times at 10 birds per replicate. The following parameters were taken including feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, mortality rate and carcass quality. Data were subjected to statistical analysis.
Results: The diet supplemented with 5% of MOLM showed significantly high body weight and followed by 10% of MOLM. Feed intake values were significantly (p<0.05) different across the treatment groups. The weight gain (WG) was statistically similar for group B and C but significantly (p<0.05) different in group D; with birds fed with 10% MOLM based diet having the highest WG. The feed conversion ratio of the birds were not significantly (p>0.05) different in group B and C, but differed significantly (P<0.05) in group D when compared with the control in group A. Carcass characteristics showed higher values of dressing percentage in birds fed supplemented with 10% MOLM (group C). The levels of MOLM were not significantly different in terms of liver weight, heart weight, kidney weight and abdominal fat.
Conclusion: Overall, the best significant improvement in the response indices were obtained in birds fed 10% MOLM, while there was a reduced performance of birds feed with 15% MOLM.
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