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Moringa oleifera is a multipurpose tree species that originated from Himalaya and has spread worldwide. Its leaves and green
fresh pods are used as vegetables by humans and are rich in carotene and ascorbic acid with a good profile of amino acids.
Moringa oleifera leaves can be used as livestock feed as it has appreciable high crude protein levels, vitamins and minerals and
contain negligible amount of anti-nutritional factor indicating its higher nutritional quality than other leafy vegetables or fodders.
There is increasing number of scientific reports documenting the nutritional benefits of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM) and
current published literatures were systematically reviewed to study the nutritional potential and benefits of Moringa oleifera as a
potential fodder for livestock. Databases such as ProQuest, Scopus, TEEAL and EBSCO host were searched for reports on any studies
investigating the nutritive potential of MOLM as feed resources for food animals. Search terms included: Moringa oleifera leaf meal,
anti-nutritional factors and livestock. Inclusion criteria were papers that studied nutrient profiling of MOLM and its effect on sheep,
goat dairy cow, rabbit and poultry. A total of 43 scientific studies were retrieved from the search and 36 articles met the selection
criteria. After screening the title and abstracts, 13 articles reported studies on poultry, 5 articles studied its effect on goat, 1 article
on pig, 2 papers on sheep, 6 papers on dairy cattle, 3 papers on general ruminants, 1 paper on rabbit and 5 papers reported nutritive
profiling of MOLM. It was found that MOLM could substitute oil seed meals in the diets of non-ruminant and ruminants and
improve their growth performance and carcass characteristics. Inclusion of MOLM as a protein supplement to low quality diets
improved dry matter intake, digestibility and milk production but did not affect milk composition of dairy cows. MOLM can be
digested and utilized by monogastric animals because of high pepsin and total soluble protein in MOLM than other parts of the
plant. However, documented information on its dietary use of MOLM for pigs is scanty. Further studies are needed to investigate its
functional, bioactive compounds and phytochemicals.
Bukola Babatunde has completed her PhD degree in Poultry Nutrition in 1999 from University of Ibadan, Nigeria and another PhD in Animal Nutrition and Immunity in 2009 from La Trobe University Australia. She has worked at Institute of Agricultural Research & Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Moor Plantation as Research Fellow in Pig improvement programs and as a Senior Lecturer in Animal Science at Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Institute of Agricultural Research & Training. She is currently an Associate Professor and Head of Department of Animal Husbandry at Fiji National University. She has published more than 40 papers in reputed journals and is a Member of Editorial Board and Review Board of reputable international journal.