The aim of the current study was to assess the effect of including different forms of Moringa oleifera leaf meal in the diets of goats. Sixteen lactating Anglo-Nubian goats (36.2 ± 0.7 kg) were used in quadruplicated 4 × 4 Latin square design for 88 days. M. oleifera as fresh foliage, hay or silage replacing 750 g/kg dry matter (DM) of sesame meal were evaluated against a basal diet without M. oleifera (sesame meal as the sole protein source) as a control diet. M. oleifera leaf meal was ensiled for 60 days, whereas hay was made after air drying for 10 days. Goats fed M. oleifera silage or fresh biomass had higher (P < 0.05) DM intake (DMI) and digestibility of most nutrients compared with the control diet. In addition, DMI was greater (P < 0.05) in goats fed M. oleifera silage compared with hay. Feeding all three forms of M. oleifera decreased (P < 0.05) ruminal ammonia-N concentration and increased (P < 0.05) the proportion of ruminal propionate. Higher (P < 0.05) ruminal ammonia-N, propionate, and total short-chain fatty acids were noted in goats fed M. oleifera silage compared with hay. M. oleifera diets decreased (P < 0.05) blood serum triglycerides and cholesterol concentrations and increased (P < 0.05) serum glucose compared with the control. Moreover, feeding M. oleifera diets resulted in higher (P < 0.05) milk yield, energy-corrected milk and milk contents of protein and lactose than for the control diet, and higher (P < 0.05) milk fat contents were noted in goats fed M. oleifera fresh biomass and hay compared with the control diet. Feeding M. oleifera increased (P < 0.05) total unsaturated fatty acids and total conjugated linoleic acid of milk and decreased (P < 0.05) saturated fatty acids. It is concluded that feeding different forms of M. oleifera to replace 750 g/kg DM of sesame meal enhanced feed utilization, ruminal fermentation, milk yield and composition in lactating Anglo-Nubian goats. The best performance was observed in goats fed M. oleifera silage followed by fresh M. oleifera and then M. oleifera hay.
- Feed utilization
- Moringa oleifera