Background and Objective: The use of antibiotics is associated with problems such as the presence of residues in eggs and meat and the development of bacterial resistance. These concerns have resulted in the search for phytochemical from plants such as Moringa oleifera leaf. The leaves of Moringa oleiferahave been regularly incorporated into feed to improve poultry production but the profitability of this, in modern poultry production, has not been evaluated. This study, therefore, evaluated the financial implications of the use of Moringa oleifera leaves in poultry feed. Materials and Methods: A total of 600 day-old Isa brown chicks were assigned to 3 dietary treatment groups of M0 (0% of Moringa oleifera leaves), M1 (1% of Moringa oleifera leaves) and M2 (2% of Moringa oleifera leaves) from day-old to 280 day of age. Production and financial data were subjected to financial analyses using feed conversion ratio, margin approach, return on investment and break-even yield methods. Results: The study showed that there was a better profitability in the birds fed with the diet containing 1% leaves having 11.04% more income and 14% return on investment than those of M0. This improved performance was associated to the better feed conversion ratio and high egg production of the birds fed diet containing 1% leaves when compared with those fed 2% Moringa leaves. Conclusion: It was concluded that the use of Moringa oleifera leaf as a prebiotic in a poultry diet improved production performance and profit margin of hens.
A. Teteh, G. Abbey, Y. Beblemegna, O.E. Oke, E. Decuypere, M. Gbeassor and K. Tona, 2020. Financial Implication of Moringa oleifera Leaf Incorporation into Layer-type Chickens’ Feed. International Journal of Poultry Science, 19: 390-395.
The main objective of any poultry enterprise is to ensure poultry welfare, structure viability, job security and consumers’ food safety. Therefore, poultry industries have been concerned with improvement and optimum profitability. In developing countries, economic conditions and the quest for profit maximization have led farmers to compromise the use of most factors of production, especially poultry feed. The importance of poultry feed is based on the fact that it accounts for approximately 60-70% cost of egg production. It also contributes largely to ensure birds’ welfare and improves animal performances. In this regard, North1 pointed out that every 10% reduction in feed costs, is associated with increasing productivity, net margin from 15-21% and gross margin by 40%. Hence, poultry farmers can formulate ration in such a way to fit animal nutritional requirements and improve performance while minimizing costs.
Previously, to achieve such results, farmers used to incorporate Antibiotic Growth Factors (AGF) into poultry feed. However, the main concern attributed to thisis that its inclusion results in the accumulation of residues in eggs and meat and also the development of resistance of bacteria. Consequently, this practice was banned in 2006 in Europe and USA2. As a result, there has been a growing search for a safe and efficient alternative to the use of AGF. Among the alternatives, prebiotics from plants such as Moringa oleifera are the most useful because of their carbohydrate content. Studies have shown that these carbohydrates confer antimicrobial effects and production enhancing properties3,4. However, plant production, processing and use incur some expenses to the extent that this may affect the production costs and farm net earnings.
Moringa oleifera is a leguminous plant widely available in the tropical zone and it is used in feeding livestock. Leaves of this plant are known to contain 26% of crude protein, 9.5 MJ kg1 of metabolizable energy, high quantities of saponins, carotene, ascorbic acid, iron, methionine and cystine5,6. Moreover, Teteh et al.7, reported that Moringa oleifera leaves contained flavonoïds, total phenols, tannin and polysaccharides at 0.2, 4.2, 2.38 and 21.1% respectively. Studies on the use of Moringa oleifera leaf in poultry feed have explored two methods of incorporation: substitution and supplementation methods. The substitution technique is based on the replacement of a conventional feedstuff partially or totally by Moringa oleifera leaf. This has been studied by Kakenji et al.8; Gadzirayi et al.9; Ayssiwede et al.10 and Adeniji and Lawal11, who demonstrated that substitution of sunflower flour by 20%, soya flour by 25% and groundnut cake by 8, 16 and 100% with Moringa oleifera leaf improved broiler growth and egg production of hens. The supplementation method makes use of Moringa oleifera leaf as a conventional feedstuff and is used without replacing any ingredients. For example, Teteh et al.7, Banjo12 and Teteh et al.13 used the supplementation method and reported that Moringa oleifera leaf improved growth and egg production performances at the rate of 1% incorporation into feed. In addition, studies conducted by Ayssiwede et al.10 and Adeniji and Lawal11 revealed that the substitution method could lead to significant financial profitability of poultry farming. To our knowledge, the supplementation method has not been subjected to any financial study which may persuade farmers that, even at a low rate, Moringa oleifera leaves can increase profit. The present study, therefore, was undertaken to evaluate the financial impact of low rate incorporation of Moringa oleifera leaves into poultry feed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Experimental design: The experiment was carried out at the experimental unit of the Regional Centre of Excellence in Poultry Sciences (Centre d’Excellence Regional des Sciences Aviaires or CERSA) of the University of Lomé (Togo). Moringa oleifera leaves were collected from the rural area of Togo, rinsed and disinfected with Virocid® and then dried under an air conditioning system. They were, thereafter, pulverized and incorporated into diets.
A total of 600 day-old Isa brown chicks produced by CERSA hatchery were assigned to one of 3 treatment groups (M0, M1 and M2) with 4 replicates of 50 chicks each. The birds were fed diets of: 0% (M0), 1% (M1) and 2% (M2) Moringa oleifera leaves from day-old to day 280 as shown in Table 1. The rearing period was partitioned into 3 phases. The first phase lasted from day-old to 8th week, the second phase was from week 9-20 and the last phase was from week 21-40. During the 3 phases, the birds were fed successively, with starter mash, grower mash and layer mash. In order to comply with animal welfare, the study was conducted in a way that avoided unnecessary discomfort to the birds by the use of proper management.
Total feed intake and total water intake during starter, growth and egg production periods were recorded. From 20 weeks, eggs were collected and sold. Moreover, the total number of eggs and the mean egg weights during the production period were recorded. Data obtained were used to determine the feed conversion ratio (total feed intake during laying period/weight of total eggs collected) and the income obtained from the sale of eggs for each group.
Financial data collection: Farmers engaged in Moringa oleifera leaves production as well as those outlets engaged in the collection and sales of the leaves to users were consulted to determine the price of a kilogram of Moringa oleiferaleaves. Poultry feed producers were also consulted to obtain prices of other feedstuffs. Prices of Moringa oleifera leaves and other ingredients were used to calculate the cost of a kilogram of feed according to the growth stage. In addition, the prices of a litre of water, day-old chicks and spent layers as well as investment and overhead costs of the farm were collected from CERSA administration. These data were used to assess the total cost and income in this study.
Determination of farm financial situation: To calculate profitability generated by the experiment and income statement, the following parameters were taking into account:
40 weeks of rearing
30,000 CFA Franc as construction cost of one square meter of bird room
Sale of reformed layers to consumers and the use of this revenue to purchase day-old chicks
1,000 birds (600 for the experiment and 400 for commercial production) over which the farmer has charge
The financial analysis was based on feed conversion ratio, margin approach, return on investment and the break-even point.
Feed conversion ratio: Feed conversion ratio is defined as the quantity of feed to produce 1 kg of egg. The feed conversion ratio helps to evaluate feed efficiency and gives indications about rearing management and profit margin per kg of feed intake.
Margin approach: Taking fixed and variable costs into account, the method of margin approach was used to determine gross and net margins. Gross margin is the difference between sale of various products and variable costs, while net margin is the difference between sales and all operational charges (variable and fixed costs).
Return on investment: The gross margin does not allow detailed account of the management system of enterprises operating in the poultry sector. So, Keiser14 proposed the return on investment method. This method was used to calculate the yield of investment or gain on sale of each CFA Franc invested according to the following equation:
Break-even point: For a thorough evaluation, Brossier et al.15 proposed the use of the break-even point to plan and adopt a new method of management such as the use of Moringa oleifera leaf in poultry feeding. The break-even method determines sales volume or the production levels that enable the farm to cover all of its charges (variable and fixed costs); hence, the poultry farm realized an equilibrium between its sales and charges16. It was calculated with the following formula:
Statistical analysis: Production parameters such as feed conversion ratio and egg weight were expressed as the mean±standard error (SE) of mean and analysed with a statistical software package, Systat 11. One-Way ANOVA was used to analyse the effects of experimental diets on feed conversion ratio and egg weight. If the overall F-value was not statistically significant (p>0.05), no further comparison among groups was done.
Results of production parameters are presented in Table 2. Egg weights were similar among the 3 treatment groups while feed conversion ratio in M2 was higher than that of M1 (p<0.05). In addition, group M1 showed numerically lowest total feed intake and highest number of eggs produced.
Table 3 shows prices of one kg of Moringa oleifera leaf, one kg of each ingredient and one liter of drinking water. The price of each feed is shown in Table 4. Regardless of the treatment groups, grower feed was cheaper than the others.
Table 5 shows fixed and variable costs and revenue from poultry products sold. Group M2 showed the highest total cost. In contrast, sales for group M1 yielded the highest value.