With the removal of antibiotic as growth promoters
in animal nutrition animal performance and feed conversion ratio has declined
with a rise in the incidence of certain animal diseases (Wierup, 2001). The
alternatives growth stimulators to antibiotic are numerous (Simon, 2005;
Steiner, 2009; Kostadinovi? and Levi?, 2012). Plant-derived additives used in
animal nutrition to improve performance have been called “phytogenic feed
additives” (Windich et al., 2008). Phytogenic feed additives has been scrutinized
for use in poultry production with an increasing number of scientific publications
since the ban of antibiotics feed additives in 2006.
The M. oleifera leaves are considered a
potential inexpensive source for livestock feeding (Sarwatt et al.
2004). Aregheore (2001) reported that the use of M. oleifera as a supplement
can improve voluntary feed intake, digestibility and animal performance. It was
also reported to improve shelf life and quality of meat in pre-slaughter or
post-slaughter stages (Valeria and Williams, 2011).Its medicinal properties in
animals has also been tested on previous studies for instance in goats by Moyo et al.,
(2012) and in broiler chickens by Qwele et
Some results showed a positive effect of Moringa
extracts or low levels (below 2%) of moringa leaf meal (David et al.,
2012; Teteh et al., 2013; Ashong and Brown, 2011).
pterygospermin found in the Moringa plant has powerful antibiotic and
fungicidal effects (Das et al., 1957). Moringa is a potential plant that could be used
to enhance immune responses and to improve intestinal health of broiler
chicken. Yang, et al. (2006), reported
that the dehydrated leaves of M. oleifera in the diets of broiler chicken
significantly enhanced immune responses and reduced E. coli and increased
Lactobacillus counts in ileum. Hence,
Moringa has a great potential in improving nutrition and strengthening immune
functions of broiler chicken.