Moringa for goats
Drought prone countries in African belt were already suffering from malnutrition related issues. The livestock such as goats, chicken could serve the meat requirements. The rearing of the livestock gets affected due to the availability of plant sources for grazing.
When they are grown in farms, certain species of trees are selected to effectively utilize little water. Moringa oleifera or Stenopetala trees could be grown easily and they serve as forage to give quality meat. Feed scarcity is a major constraint in goat production in Nigeria due to the drought conditions. Seasonal fluctuations in nutritional value of the fodder can affect the growth of goats.
It is important for the growing dwarf goats with disease control programs. Crude protein levels of principal forage crops such as gamba (Andropogon gayanus) and guinea grasses (Panicum maximum) fall to as low as 2% for majority time of the summer. Livestock consuming these two forages during this time could get low mineral and protein contents.
Each moringa leaf powder multi-nutrient block, weighed 1.00±0.05 kg and they were replaced when the refusal weighed 0.20±0.05 kg. All the animals were allowed to adapt to the pens and feeding regimes for 14 days prior to the commencement of the study. Fresh and clean water were permanently available to the animals in their pens.
Fiber level was least for Panicum crops while it reached 8.24. Crude fiber was however highest in Panicum with maximum 35.50% while it was in negligible quantities in corn starch residue (1.50 %) with moringa multi-nutrient blocks containing a rather moderate level (5.07%). Grazing West African Dwarf (WAD) goats on Moringa Multi Nutrient Block (MMNB) supplementation was assessed in comparison with cassava peels (CPL) and corn starch residues (CSR). This study used a complete randomized model with four replicates per treatment.
It was found that only MMNB supplementation resulted in a remarkable increase in Packed Cell Volume (PCV) of the livestock animals at the end of the study. All other values fell within the normal range for healthy WAD goats. Each of the three supplements brought scalable increases in hemoglobin (Hb) and Red Blood Cell (RBC) counts, even though the increase levels were high with MMNB. Once goats get this enriched protein with all 9 essential amino acids, their health improves. Moringa oleifera dried leaf powder has more nutrients than fresh leaves and can be used conveniently for preparing MMNB to provide nutrition for the goats. They will have increased immunity and their meat is healthy for the consumers. In Nigeria and other African countries, MMNB blocks are now used in goat rearing farms.