News and knowhow for farmers

Tharaka Nithi poultry farmer abandons antibiotics for papaya & moringa mix

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By George Munene

Mixing in dried papaya and moringa leaves into chicken feed has helped Daniel Muketha bolster the immune system of his poultry doing away with antibiotics.

The veteran poultry farmer who rears 700 Kenbro improved kienyeji and ornamental chicken, geese, turkey and pegions adviced: “I have been feeding crushed moringa and papaya leaves to my chicken since 2017. As long as they are vaccinated and they are introduced to the mixture while young, I have found that I do not have to worry about disease flare ups in my flock.”

He dries the leaves under shade to prevent the loss of their nutritive value before milling them into a fine powder in a feed mixer. For small-holder farmers who cannot afford this, he advices manually crushing the leaves.

He forms a meal with chicken feed and gives the ground leaves twice a week to his birds at a 1:2 ratio of papaya and moringa mix to chicken feed.

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“Being naturally occuring, farmers do not have to worry much about under or overfeeding papaya or moringa to their birds,” he said.

According to scientific research moringa olifera extract is high in crude protein (25-30 per cent) making it a natural source of protein in poultry diets. It is a natural growth booster that mproves the growth rate of birds, their live weight, dressing percentage and health status.

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It is also prevents infection and boosts poultry immune systems making them resistant to diseases and is infused with a natural antimicrobial agent that helps chickens fight disease causing organisms.

It further improves their metabolism and enhances nutrient uptake.

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Egg yolk, egg shell and bird feather quality is also enhanced.

Papaya for it’s part has been shown to be effective against coccidiosis and Newcastle diseases as well as bacterium like Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichhia coli, Salmonella aureus and Pseudomonas aeuroginosa.

Papaya extract can also reduce the prevelance of yeast infections.

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