To determine the effects of inclusion, at different levels of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM) in growing pig diets on pig’s daily feed intakes (DFI), growth performance, feed conversion efficiency (FCE), haematology and plasma lipid indices, a total 24 pigs aged 2.5 months old were selected and assigned to 4 treatment diets (T) containing: 0% (T1), 3% (T2), 6% (T3) and 12% (T4) MOLM concentrations, each with 2 replications of 3 pigs. The DFI and weekly pig weights were monitored for 7 weeks, after which 2 sets of blood samples were drawn from 2 pigs per replication for haematology and serum lipid determination. The DFI for the T4 (3.16 kg) was significantly higher than T1 (2.90 kg), T2 (2.61 kg) and T3 (2.54 kg). Pigs in T2 had significantly higher daily weight gains (0.836 kg) compared to T1 (0.807 kg), T3 (0.810 kg) and T4 (0.810 kg) groups. Furthermore, pigs in T2 and T3 had significantly higher FCE (31.57 and 31.23% respectively) compared to T4 (28.05%) and T1 (30.31%). Inclusion of MOLM in the diet significantly increased haemoglobin concentration only to the level of T3 (14.70 g/dL) after which there was a reduction in T4 (12.70 g/dL). Higher mean corpuscular volume was also observed for T1 (60.0 fL) compared to T3 (52.30 fL). MOLM diet also improved the white blood cell counts; 16.70×109/L in T2 compared to 14.50×109/L from T1. Total cholesterol in T2 (2.80 mg/mL) were significantly reduced compared to T1 (3.90 mg/mL). This implies, MOLM at lower levels (<6%) in the diet improves haemoglobin concentration, white blood cell counts and exhibits hypocholesterolemic effects, thereby improving growth performance of the animals.
Key words: Growth, haematology, Moringa oleifera, total cell count, total cholesterol, pigs
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