Moringa (M. oleifera) Leaf Meal in Diets for Broilers and Laying Hens: A Review

  •  Abdulkarim Abdulmageed Amad    
  •  Jürgen Zentek    


The cost of feed ingredients in poultry production is constantly increasing and it is one of the main constraints globally and especially in low income countries. As a consequence, scientists search for cheap and available sources of feed protein. The M. oleifera leaves have not only high protein but also excellent nutritive and biological properties. This review summarises results and findings of research related to the application of M. oleifera leaf as source of feed protein in broiler and egg production. Studies showed that leaf meals used as protein source led to improvement in growth and egg production parameters with up to 10% M. oleifera leaves in chicken diets. On the other side, there are restrictions on utilization of leaf meal in chicken diets by its high dietary fibre content and the presence of anti-nutritive compounds. This review also highlights previous results indicating a positive effect of M. oleifera leaves on carcass traits and egg quality, specially pigmentation of broiler meat and egg yolk and a tendency in cholesterol reduction in blood and eggs. A couple of studies have shown a beneficial influence on the antioxidant status and intestinal microbiota which were considered as health promoting in birds. In conclusion the use of M. oleifera leaves meal can improve growth performance and egg production. Of high interest is its potential to promote animal health. However, more research is needed to find out effects of M. oleifera leaves meal on functional traits, including ileal nutrient digestibility, especially considering amino acids, and on the gut microbiota for a better understanding of the mode of action of this plant.

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