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Influence of Moringa oleifera Seed Meal on Haematological and Serum Chemistry of Broiler Chicken

Abdulkarim A. Sani U. M. Umaru U.A. Oladapo O. O. Madiyi A. B. Hamman H. U.
Vol 8(4), 38-44

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Moringa oleifera seed meal (MOSM) on haematological and serum biochemical indices of broiler chickens. A total of 150 Hubbard broiler chickens aged 28 days were weighed and randomly assigned to five dietary treatments in a completely randomized design with three replicates of 10 birds each. The birds were fed on fairly isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets of varying levels of Moringa oleifera seed meal for 28 days. The dietary levels were T1 (0% - control), T2 (0.01%), T3 (0.02%), T4 (0.03%), and T5 (0.04%). The haematological profile in birds fed diet containing 0.02% and 0.03% MOSM showed significantly higher (P˂0.05) MCHC while MVC and WBC of all the bird fed the test diet are within the normal range. However, RBC significantly (P˂0.05) decreased with increased on the level of MOSM across the treatments. Serum chemistry show significant (P˂0.05) across the treatments for total bilirubin, phosphate, chloride, total cholesterol, urea and creatinine. Bird fed 0.03% of test diet showed a significantly (P˂0.05) low total serum cholesterol as compare to control diet and other treatments as well. This may be due to the ability of Moringa oleifera in reduction of low density lipoproteins which is instrumental to cholesterol reduction. Although there is significant (P<0.05) difference for urea across the treatments but all are within the optimal level for proper function of the kidney. The present study concluded inclusion of MOSM up to 0.03% level into broiler diets had no adverse effects on the haematological and serum chemistry of broiler chickens.

Keywords : Broilers Haematology Moringa oleifera Seed Meal Serum Chemistry

One of the biggest challenges facing the poultry industry in developing countries is the increase in the cost of feed especially that of protein and energy sources (Abbas, 2013). The continued increases in price of animal feeds have compelled researchers to direct their attention to non-conventional feed sources, with particular emphasis on protein substitutes. A viable alternative such as the use of leguminous multipurpose trees and shrubs as sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals has been suggested for poultry feeding. Now, plant leaves are commonly processed into leaf meals for use as poultry feed. Examples of the leaf meals which have been widely used in feeding non- ruminant animals include Leucaena leucocephala, Gliricidia sepium, Sesbania sesban and Manihot esculenta (Gadzirayi et al., 2012). However, Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is presently being focused globally as another promising leaf meal in livestock feeding.

Moringa is drought-tolerant and grows at a rainfall of 250-1500 mm per annum (Martina, 2007). Rich in nutrients such as protein and minerals, Moringa is one of those plants that have not been studied for many years but now is being investigated as reported by Nouman et al. (2013) for its fast growth, higher nutritional value, and increasing utilisation as a livestock fodder crop.

Soliva et al. (2004) speculated that “the feeding value of Moringa has been re-counted to be analogous to that of soybeans and rapeseed meal.” With the leaves of Moringa being rich in nutrients, pregnant women and lactating mothers can use the powdered leaves to enhance their children’s nourishment, principally in under developed countries where malnutrition is common (Stephen et al., 2008 and Sudha et al., 2010). Ebenebe et al. (2012) in his investigation about the importance of Moringa observed that the growing popularity of the use of Moringa oleifera as a feed additive in poultry nutrition necessitates thorough investigation into its nutritional value, as well its impact on haematological parameters as a measure of both nutritional and medicinal benefits of the leaves in broiler chicks. Better growth performance of chicks and increase in the serum level of biochemical minerals have been reported to be significantly affected by incorporation of Moringa oleifera leaves into maize-based poultry diet when compared to the maize meal feed alone (Donkor et al., 2013). Despite several studies have reported the use of Moringa oleifera leaves as feed supplements in livestock (Ayssiwede et al., 2011; Nkukwana et al., 2014), the optimal concentration of Moringa oleifera leaves as a nutritional supplement has not yet been determined. There are limited reports on the bioactive constituents of Moringa oleifera leaves and their impact on haematological parameters and serum biochemistry.

Haematological and serum parameters have been observed as good indicators of the physiological status of animal and their changes are important in assessing the response of animal to various physiological situations (Khan and Zafar, 2005). This study was carried out to determine the effects of graded levels of Moringa oleifera seed meal on haematological and serum biochemical profile of broiler chickens.

Material and Methods                                                                   

Experimental Site                                                                                           

The experiment was conducted at the Poultry Unit of the University of Maiduguri Teaching and Research Farm, Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, Nigeria. The city is located in the North Eastern part of the country at 11o 15′ North 30o 5′ East at an elevation of 364m above sea level (Alaku, 1982). The area is characterized by a short period of rainfall (June- September) and a long period of dry season (October – April). The ambient temperature varies from 25–28oC in December and rises up to 40 – 45oC from the month of March to June (Fada and Rayar, 1988).

Management of Experimental Birds

A total of one hundred and fifty (150) unsexed Hubbard strain of broiler chicks were used for this experiment. The chicks were obtained at day-old from ECWA hatchery in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria. The chicks were fed commercial broiler starter mash for two weeks and grower mash until the age of four weeks. Water was provided ad-libitum. Chicks were also vaccinated appropriately.

Experimental Design

At four weeks of age, the birds were randomly weighed and allocated to five treatment groups of 30 birds each. Each treatment was replicated thrice with 10 birds per replicate in a completely randomized design. The treatments were tagged T1, T2, T3, T4   and T5.   The experiment lasted for 4 weeks.

Experimental Diet

The experimental diet contained the following ingredients in the order in which they were compounded. Low-tannin sorghum, wheat offal, soybean meal, groundnut cake, fish meal, bone meal, mineral-vitamin premix, methionine and NaCl (common salt) and Moringa oleifera seed meal (MOSM). Five finisher diets were formulated with different quantities of the MOSM. Feeding was ad-libitum up to age of 9 weeks. Then two representative birds from each replicate were selected at random for carcass measurement, biochemical and hematological analysis.

Proximate Analysis of the Experimental Diet

Proximate analysis of the experimental diet was carried out according to A.O.A.C (1990) method where dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), crude fibre (CF), ash content and NE are obtained.

Analytical Measurements

On the 7th and 8th week of the experiment, blood samples (2ml for serum biochemical tests and 1ml for haematology) were collected in vials with 2mg ethylene-diamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) from the brachial vein of the birds. Red blood cell (RBC), White blood cell (WBC), haemoglobin (Hb), Packed Cell Volume (PCV), monocytes and neutrophils counts were determined as described by Ewuola and Egbunike (2008). The mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) were determined using appropriate formulae as described by Emiola et al. (2013). Serum creatinine, alanine amino transferase, aspartate amino transferase, uric acid total protein and albumin were determined using methods described by Bahman et al. (2011).

Table 1: Composition and calculated analysis of experimental finisher diet (%)

Ingredients T1 T2 T3 T4 T5
Sorghum 60 60 60 60 60
Wheat offal 06 06 06 06 06
Soybean 15 14.99 14.98 14.97 14.96
Groundnut cake 10 10 10 10 10
Fish meal 05 05 05 05 05
Bone meal 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5
* Premix 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8
Methionine 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4
Nacl 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
MOSM 0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04
Total 100 100 100 100 100

Calculated analysis

Crude protein (%)     22.00                     21.90                       21.90                       21.89                       21.89

Crude fibre (%)         3.235                     3.228                       3.217                       3.216                       3215

ME (Kcal/kg)   2894.2               2891.5               2888.8                2886.1               2883.4

*The vitamin premix used in this study has the following composition. Vit.A 12000.00IU, Vit.E, 1500mg, Folic acid 1000mg, patothenic acid, 1500mg, B12 1500mg, B6 2500mg, Vit.K, 2000mg, choline 500000mg, Mn 100mg, Vit.B2 6000mg, Vit.B1 2000mg, Biotin 60000mg, Vit.C 30000mg, copper 15000mg, cobalt 250mg, and selenium 100mg.

Where, MOSM = Moringa oleifera seed meal

Statistical Analysis

All data collected were analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Differences in means were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test. All statistics analyses were done using the Assistant – Assistance Statistical software developed by Silva and Azevedo (2009).

Result and Discussion


The result in (Table 2) shows significant variation (P<0.05) between the animals in all the treatments in all the parameters measured with the exception of MCV, PCV, Basophils and hetrophils.

Table 2: Serum biochemical indices of broiler chickens finished on varying levels of Moringa oleifera seed meal

Parameters T1(0) T2(0.01) T3(0.02) T4(0.03) T5(0.04) SEM
Alanine Amino Transferase(iu/l) 25.75 13.5 17.75 24.75 26.25 4.3041
Aspartate Amino Transferase(iu/l) 114.75 104.5 116.25 107.5 114 5.9838
Alkali Phosphate(iu/l) 98 103.5 99 101.75 97.25 2.9619
Total Protein(g/l) 42.5 28.25 35.75 35.25 44 6.6048
Albumin (g/l) 15 14 14 14.5 15.25 0.8216
Total Billirubin (mmol/l) 7.5000a 5.2500b 5.2500b 6.2500ab 7.0000ab 0.6038
C/B(mmol/l) 4 3 2.5 3.75 4 0.5
Bicabonate(mmol/l) 19.5 20.25 20 19.75 19.75 0.4257
Calcium(mmol) 2.2 2.2 2.275 2.15 2.075 0.0813
Posphate(mmol/l) 2.2500a 1.8000b 1.9250b 2.0500ab 1.7500b 0.1049
Chloride(mmol/l) 103.00a 100.50b 101.00ab 101.00ab 101.00ab 0.6952
Sodium(mmol/l) 139.5 138.5 137.5 136.5 139 1.3102
Potassium(mmol/l) 3.975 4.75 4.775 4.5 4.475 0.309
Glucose(mmol/l) 10.95 9.9 9.4 9.35 11.075 0.5885
Total Cholesterol(mmol/l) 3.0500a 2.6000ab 2.6750ab 2.0500b 2.6250ab 0.2476
Urea(mmol/l) 4.3750c 4.5000bc 4.8250ab 4.5250bc 5.0500a 0.1422
Creatinine(mmol/l) 72.00c 102.75abc 84.50bc 110.25ab 126.75a 10.835

abc means within same rows with different superscript are significantly different (  P )

The result shows RBC decrease with increasing levels of MOSM between the treatment while MCHC and WBC increase with increasing levels of MOSM. It was observed from the result that RBC, PCV, and Haemoglobin are slightly below the normal range of broiler birds as reported by (Khan and Scot, 2012) which could be due to iron, copper folate, vitamin B12 or vitamin B6 deficiency. MCV and WBC are within the normal range. The MCHC of T3 and T4 were slightly above the normal range values as reported by Duncan et al. (1994) thus we may say MOSM increase the MCHC values of broiler birds. The normality of WBC and its components within the reference range values is a suggestion of a better immune system.

Serum Chemistry

Results of serum chemistry were presented in (Table 3). The result shows significant (P<0.05) difference in total bilirubin, phosphate, chloride, total cholesterol, urea and creatinine while there is no significant difference among the rest of the parameters within the treatments.

The result shows T1 has significantly higher (P<0.05) values in total bilirubin, phosphate and chloride while lower values in urea and creatinine. Animals place on T2 have lower values of almost all the parameters while T5 shows significant higher (P<0.05) value in total bilirubin, chloride, urea and creatinine and lower value in phosphate. The parameters are within the normal range as reported by Khan and Scot (2012). The Urea rate being within the normal range infers that the work rate of Liver and Kidney is normal and thus there is no likelihood of feeding toxic materials to these animals. Thus, MOSM may be term safe for feeding broiler birds. Total protein suggests adequacy in protein synthesis by the animals. Also, the electrolytes being within the normal range is an indication that MOSM may not interfere with renal functions of the animals.

Table 3: Haematological parameters of broiler chickens fed Morinya oleifera seed meal

Parameters Units Ti T, T, T4 T5 SEM
Red blood cell (RCB) (106/mm3) 3.487a 3.3250b 3. 2250c 3.187C 2.9375d 0.0229
White blood cell (WBC) (106/mm3) 43.125a 40.875c 41.875b 41.625b 42.875a 2.458
Packed cell volume(PCV) (%) 28.25 28.25 28.75 28 22.75 1.747
Haemoglobin concentration (g/dl) 8.925b 9.100ab 10.225ab 11.025a 8.750b 0.6404
MCV Fl 8.14 8.5025 8.9125 8.78 7.73 0.5169
MCH (Pg) 25.728b 27.395b 31.723ab 34.553a 29.775ab 1.9505
MCHC (g/dl) 31.688b 32.075b 35.665ab 39.335a 39.143a 1.936
Heterophils (%) 38.75 34 33.75 35 33 2.1971
Monocytes (%) 7.7500ab 7,000b 8.2500a 7.000b 5.5700c 0.2776
HoMiiopluls (%) 9.500ab 9.000b 9.000b 1 1 .000 a 8.000b 0.713
Basophils (%) 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25 0 0.1936
Lymphocytes (%) 48.250b 49.750ab 48.750b 47.000b 53.000a 1.1556

abcd = means within the same row bearing different superscript differ significantly (P<0.05).


The results of this study showed that inclusion of Moringa oleifera seed in the diet of broiler chickens had no adverse effects on the haematological and serum chemistry profile of chickens. Blood and serum parameters such as MCHC, MVC and WBC were not affected by 0.03% inclusion of MOSM on the broilers diet. However, same inclusion level was instrumental in serum cholesterol reduction as well as optimal serum level of urea although the mechanism behind such reduction has not been ascertained in the present study. It is recommended that inclusion of MOSM up to 0.03% in the diet of broiler chickens has no deleterious effect on haematology and blood chemistry of broiler chickens.


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