Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2768


Characteristics of duckweed and its potential as feed source for chickens reared for meat production: A review

Marizvikuru Mwale1* and Francisca Rumosa Gwaze2
  1Institute for Rural Development, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa. 2Lovedale Public Further Education and Training (PFET) College, Private Bag X1303, Alice 5700, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 February 2013
  •  Published: 11 May 2013



With the high cost of the conventional protein required in producing meat and its products to meet demand by the ever-increasing population, it is imperative that other cheaper alternatives be explored. One such protein source is duckweed. This paper focuses on the attributes that duckweed has which make it a special contender as a protein source for chickens. The paper also focuses on the challenges associated with the use of this plant as an ingredient in chicken feeds. In addition, discussion on other researches that have been conducted regarding using the plant in feeding chickens is provided. Furthermore, the manuscript highlights areas that researchers need to focus on before duckweed can be widely accepted as a feed source or feed ingredient. Researchers seem to agree that in the growers and finisher stage contribution from duckweed as protein should not exceed 6%. More research, however, is required, probably per duckweed specie, to determine the inclusion levels that can be adopted for the starter diets for meat producing chickens.


Key words: Animal feed resource, carcass quality, chickens, duckweed plant, growth performance, inclusion level.