Document Type : Original Article


Department of By-Products Utilization, Animal Production Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt.


This study was conducted to investigate the effect of inclusion Moringa oleifera (MO) to be partially or all replace berseem in sheep ration and its effect on nutrients digestibility, in-sacco effective degradability of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) of fresh berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) against Moringa oleifera forage, dietary nitrogen utilization, rumen fermentation activity, productive performance and blood parameters of Barki sheep. Digestibility trials were conducted with Barki rams, while rumen fermentation trials were conducted with fistulated Barki ewes. Feeding trials were applied with thirty male growing lambs. Thirty male Barki sheep (25.37±0.37kg, and 7 months of age) were randomly divided into five similar groups (6 each) for a feeding period of 75 days, where weight was recorded and blood samples were collected at end of the feeding period. Experimental rations based on 60% CFM + 40% fresh berseem (R1); 60% CFM + 30% berseem + 10% moringa (R2); 60% CFM+ 20% berseem+ 20% moringa (R3); 60% CFM + 10% berseem + 30% moringa (R4) and 60% CFM + 40% moringa (R5). Results indicated that higher nutrients digestibility associated moringa containing rations, where the R4 containing (10% berseem + 30% moringa) and R5 (40% moringa) had the highest (P<0.05) digestibility values for all nutrients followed by those of R3 (20% berseem + 20% moringa). While, the lowest values were recorded with R1 containing 40% berseem (0% moringa). Nutritive values expressed as TDN was (P<0.05) higher for R4 and R5 than R1, while DCP was (P<0.05) higher for all moringa rations (R2, R3, R4 and R5) than R1. Results of nitrogen utilization as well showed remarkable (P < 0.05) increase of N-retained as % of N-absorbed and relative to N-intake or digestible N with moringa containing rations. The results indicated that feeding moringa forage in partial or complete substitution of berseem fodder improved nitrogen utilization with all moringa rations in comparison to R1. Rumen liquor pH values and NH3-N concentration were lower (P<0.05) with increasing moringa in rations (R3, R4 and R5) than R1 and R2, while total VFA's concentration was remarkably higher for R3, R4 and R5 than R1 and R2 experimental rations. In similar trend, microbial nitrogen yield was greater with the moringa rations (R5) than that of R1 (40% berseem containing ration). Molar proportion % of propionic acid and butyric acid were insignificantly lower with increasing moringa in experimental rations. Acetic acid, acetic: propionic ratio and rumen volume (L) were higher (P<0.05) with increasing moringa in rations. Effective degradability of DM and ruminal undegradable protein (RUP) were significantly increased with increasing the level of moringa up to 40%.  Economic return and economic efficiency were higher for moringa than berseem. Feeding moringa rations was associated with higher (P<0.05) blood glucose concentration, total protein, albumin and globulin with increase moringa in rations compared with the control ration. Moreover, blood cholesterol and urea was decreased (P<0.05) with moringa rations, however the effect was more pronounced with 40% moringa ration. Feeding moringa up to 40% of the whole daily ration did not badly affects liver or kidney functions. Under the conditions of this study, it’s fair to conclude that; moringa oleifera is palatable and highly nutritious fodder. Therefore, the partial or complete replacement of berseem with moringa is highly recommended in the feeding practices of sheep.


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