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Research article2006Peer reviewed

Effect of feeding different levels of foliage of Moringa oleifera to creole dairy cows on intake, digestibility, milk production and composition

Sanchez NR, Sporndly E, Ledin I


An experiment was conducted in Nicaragua to determine the effect of feeding different levels of foliage from Moringa oleifera Lam (synonym: Moringa pterygosperma Gaertner) to dairy cows on intake, digestibility, milk production and milk composition. The treatments were: Brachiaria brizantha hay ad libitum, either unsupplemented or supplemented with 2 kg or 3 kg of Moringa on a dry matter (DM) basis. Six Bos indicus cows of the Creole Reyna breed, with a mean body weight of 394 +/- 24 kg were used in a replicated 3 x 3 Latin square design. Supplementation with Moringa increased (P < 0.05) DM intake from 8.5 to 10.2 and 11.0 kg DM day(-1) and milk production from 3.1 to 4.9 and 5.1 kg day(-1) for B. brizantha hay only and supplementation with 2 kg and 3 kg DM of Moringa, respectively. Milk fat, total solids and crude protein and organoleptic characteristics, smell, taste and colour, were not significantly different between the diets. Apparent digestibility coefficients of DM, OM, CP, NDF and ADF increased (P < 0.05) in the diets supplemented with Moringa compared with B. brizantha hay alone. The results showed that the inclusion of Moringa as a protein supplement to low quality diets improved DM intake and digestibility of the diet and increased milk production but did not affect milk composition. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved


Moringa oleifera; Dairy cows; Intake; Digestibility; Milk production; Milk composition

Published in

Livestock Science
2006, Volume: 101, number: 1-3, pages: 24-31