A pilot study was undertaken to test the response of three groups of layers to neem leaves. One group was fed a ration containing ten per cent fresh neem leaves, the second a ration of ten per cent dried neem leaves, and the third none. The group receiving the fresh neem leaves had increased feed intake, daily egg production and egg weight compared with the other two. There appears to be a fat component of fresh neem leaves (Azadirachta indica) that enhances egg production and egg weight (Siddiqui et al., 1986).
This is high in fibre, but as the essential amino acid content is similar to that of soybean, it can only be used in limited amounts.
No more than two percent citrus pulp should be included in the ration to avoid reduction in growth rate and off-colour egg yolks.
Over-ripe bananas and plantains
These are of greater palatability for poultry than green bananas, which contain free or active tannins.
Derided sugarcane pith and molasses
Sugarcane juice can make up to 25 percent of the poultry ration and molasses up to 30 percent, but it should be noted that over ten percent molasses results in watery faeces. Raw sugar however can be fed at up to 50 percent of the ration without watery faeces. Combining one part molasses with three parts sugar gives good production without the digestive problems. Molasses is often added to rations at low levels of inclusion to make it more palatable, although there may be problems with evenly mixing the liquid, and with fungal toxins in the stored feed, encouraged by the sugar levels.