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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2017 Jun 12. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12678. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of Moringa oleifera leaves as a substitute for alfalfa meal on nutrient digestibility, growth performance, carcass trait, meat quality, antioxidant capacity and biochemical parameters of rabbits.

Sun B1,2, Zhang Y1,2, Ding M2, Xi Q1,2, Liu G1, Li Y1, Liu D1,2, Chen X2.

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College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.
Guangdong Province Research Center of Woody Forage Engineering Technology, Guangzhou, China.


This contribution reports the effects of Moringa oleifera leaves (MOLs) meal on the growth performances, nutrient digestibility, carcass trait, meat quality, antioxidant capacity and biochemical parameters of growing New Zealand white rabbits. The MOL was substituted for alfalfa meal at levels of 0, 10%, 20% and 30% to obtain respective diets MOL0, MOL10, MOL20 and MOL30. Each treatment was replicated five times with 10 rabbits per replicate. Results showed the average daily weight gain (ADWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) of rabbits fed MOL20 diet were significantly better (p < 0.05) than those of other three dietary groups. Liver and spleen index of rabbits fed MOL20 and MOL30 diets was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of the groups fed with lower M. oleifera leaves (MOL0, MOL10). The meat drip loss of rabbits fed with diet MOL10 was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than that of rabbits fed other diets. All rabbits fed MOL dietary groups had lower (p < 0.05) shear force of longissimus dorsi than the group without M. oleifera leaves. No significant differences were found in the digestibility of crude fibre (CF), crude fat (EE), ash, crude protein (CP) and nitrogen-free extract (NFE) among the dietary groups. Moringa oleifera leaves also have a significant impact on serum albumin (ALB), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC), triiodothyroxine (T3 ) and tetraiodothyroxine (T4 ) values and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in serum and liver. The results indicated that M. oleifera leaves could be developed as a good feed source, and it not only could substitute for alfalfa meal well but also has a significant effect on growth performance, meat quality, antioxidant and biochemical parameters of rabbits.


Moringa oleifera ; carcass and organ characteristics; feeding; meat tenderness; rabbits

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