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Agricultural Journal
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 165 - 169

Evaluation of Chemical Composition and in vitro Fermentation Parameters of Moringa oleifera Leaf Meal Based Diets as Feed for Ruminants in Nigeria

G.O. Tona, V.O. Asaolu, O.A. Amao and A.A. Akingbade    

Abstract: This study was carried out to investigate the chemical composition and the 24 h in vitro fermentation characteristics of various levels of Moringa oleifera leaf meal supplementation, sole or combined with other feed ingredients for ruminants. Moringa oleifera Leaf meal (MOL), dried cassava peels, palm kernel cake, bone meal and salt were milled and stored separately and then mixed together at different levels. The levels of inclusions were; D1 (0% MOL), D2 (5% MOL), D3 (10% MOL), D4 (15% MOL) and D5 (100% MOL = test ingredient). The potential gas production ranged from 26.00-37.00 mL/200 mg DM. Highest p<0.05 potential gas production were obtained with both treatments D1 and D3 while D5 recorded the lowest value. The ME was highest in D1 (8.05 MJ kg-1 DM) and lowest for both D2 (6.90 MJ kg-1 DM) and D5 (6.82 MJ kg-1 DM) which were similar. The percentage OMD was highest (p<0.05) in D1 (61.42%) and lowest in both D2 (46.22%) and D5 (46.81%) which did not differ (p>0.05). The values for SCFA were highest (p<0.05) for both D1 and D3 (0.82 μmol) and lowest for D5 (0.56 μmol). The diet (D1-0% MOL) without the inclusion of Moringa oleifera leaf meal had the highest values of in vitro gas production parameter measurements, including the ME, OMD and SCFA as compared to the other diets with Moringa oleifera leaf meal inclusions. The best level of Moringa oleifera leaf meal inclusion in the diets was 10% (D3-10% MOL) while the sole Moringa oleifera leaf meal diet (D5-100% MOL) recorded the lowest in vitro gas production parameter values. This study, thus demonstrated that Moringa oleifera leaf meal when fed in combination with conventional concentrate ingredients could enhance its utilization as feed for ruminants.

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