Livestock-Based Farming Systems, Renewable Resources and the Environment
The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of supplementing Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM) on growth performance, feed intake (FI), daily egg weight (EWT), laying percentage (LP), egg mass production (EMP), and feed conversion ratio (kg feed/10 eggs) of commercial laying hens. A total of 96 laying hens aged 21 weeks, with a mean initial weight of 1.65± 0.05kg, were randomly divided into four diet groups with eight laying hens in each. The duration of the trial was 16 weeks.
The diets comprised of rapeseed meal (RM) and MOLM combinations (RM15MOLM0 - 0% MOLM; RM12MOLM3 - 3% MOLM; RM9MOLM6 - 6% MOLM; RM6MOLM9 - 9% MOLM) in addition to other ingredients.
Feed intake, laying percentage, and feed conversion ratio were not influenced by the substitute of MOLM. Egg weight decreased significant (P<0.05) with 9% MOLM diets. The kg feed/10 eggs increased with an increase of MOML proportion in the diet. Feed cost per 10 egg declined with inclusion of 3% MOLM and 6% MOLM. Eggs from laying hens on the 6% MOLM diets differed in Roche colour score (11.13) from those on the other diets.
Results of the study indicate that MOLM can be fed to laying hens and levels up to 9% in rapeseed based diets without any detrimental effect. The best efficiency of substitute MOLM is 6% level.