Geo-Assessment of Chemical Composition and Nutritional Evaluation of Moringa oleifera Seeds in Nutrition of Broilers

  •  A. Annongu    
  •  O. Karim    
  •  A. Toye    
  •  F. Sola-Ojo    
  •  R. Kayode    
  •  A. Badmos    
  •  O. Alli    
  •  K. Adeyemi    


Chemical composition of Moringa oleifera seeds obtained from the middle belt of Nigeria, Benue State, was determined and the seed was blended to form a seed meal. The Moringa oleifera Seed Meal, MOSM was included in diets at graded levels of 2.50, 5.00 and 7.50% and the dietary performance of the broiler chicks on the test diets was compared with that of a corn-soy reference diet. Results on the chemical/nutritional composition of MOSM showed that the full-fat seeds contained (%) on proximate basis, reasonable concentration of 90.38 dry matter, 25.37 crude protein, 14.16 crude fat, 4.03 mineral matter, 30.64 crude fiber, 25.80 soluble carbohydrate and 5.79 kcal/g gross energy. Analyses also gave appreciable quantities of the water and fat soluble vitamins, macro - and micro-minerals. Feeding chicks with the seed meal at graded levels in diets resulted in decrease in feed intake and body weight gain as the inclusion level increased in diets relative to the conventional diet (p < 0.05). Reduction in feed consumption could be attributed to the full-fat nature of the seed meal used which might have imparted extra-caloric effect in the test diets and slowed digestion and absorption as the analyzed nutrients content of diets. A higher ether extract value on Moringa based diets relative to the control diet was obtained. Phytochemical composition of Moringa namely phenols including tannins, saponins, phytate, cyanogenic glucoside, glucosinolates and other numerous chemical constituents affected the body weight of the chicks negatively with increasing dietary MOSM. Decrease in weight gain following increase in dietary seed meal could also be due to decrease in feed intake as a result of the bitter taste of alkaloids, saponins, acting in concert with the other Moringa phytotoxins in test diets. Survival rate (100%) was not affected indicating that the level of highest inclusion in this study (7.50%) was not fatal to the experimental animal models. Further research is progressing to ascertain the highest inclusion level possible to elicit fatality and attempts to detoxify or treat the seed meal before feeding to animals.

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