Can Moringa oleifera Be Used as a Protein Supplement for Ruminants?
The possibility of using Moringa oleifera as a ruminant protein supplement was investigated by comparison between nutritive and anti-nutritive value of its different morphological parts with that of conventionally used Leucaena leucocephala leaf meal (LL). Parameters determined were chemical composition, rumen degradable protein (RDP), acid detergent insoluble protein (ADIP), pepsin soluble protein (PESP), non-protein nitrogen (NPN) total soluble protein (TSP) and protein potentially digested in the intestine (PDI). Total phenols (TP) and total extractable tannins (TET) were also evaluated as anti-nutritive factors. In vitro gas production characteristics were measured and organic matter digestibility (OMD) was estimated basing on 24 h-gas production. Crude protein content ranged from 265-308 g/kg DM in M. oleifera leaves (MOL) and seed cake (MOC) respectively. Leucaena leucocephala and Moringa oleifera soft twigs and leaves (MOLSTL) had CP content of 236 and 195 g/kg DM while Moringa oleifera soft twigs alone (MOST) and Moringa oleifera bucks (MOB) had 160, 114 and 69.3 g/kg DM respectively. RDP was highest in (MOC) (181 g/kg DM) followed by (MOL) (177 g/kg DM) and was lowest in MOB (40 g/kg DM). The proportion of the protein that was not available to the animal (ADIP) was (p
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