Importance of pawpaw in poultry farming, the main focus is on poultry, mainly broilers, layers & turkeys.
This article is intended for farmers who seeks enlightenment on the medical & nutritional uses of Pawpaw and its constituents in Poultry health & nutrition management, backed by Stonebridge ranch & farms personal use & experience/experiments amidst the wonderful works done by some scientists who will be duly acknowledged.
Pawpaw is a fruit that thrives well in the tropics and subtropics. Its sweetness, adaptability, availability
and usefulness makes it a well known fruit. The fruits, leaves, roots and latex from the stem are highly
useful both in medicinal and other purposes. Papain, a major enzyme and chemical compound obtained
from the fruits, seeds and from the latex gotten from the stem is used in medicial, nutraceutical and
industrial companies like brewing, winemaking, tanning and textile industries. Pawpaw contains a broad
spectrum of phytochenicals including vitamins, amino acids, polysaccharides, alkaloids, minerals,
enzymes, glycosides, fats and oils, lectins, saponins, flavonoids, sterols, etc.
Every part of the Pawpaw tree is useful just like the Palm Tree, but little is known or appreciated about
its wonderful use in poultry management among farmers, despite the experimental breakthroughs
achieved by scientists and enlightened farmers using this wonder fruit.
Medical & Nutraceutical Aspects of Pawpaw
1. Pawpaw is highly nutritious – has abundance of natural vitamins and minerals and low in
calories. It comes first among fruits for its high deposits of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamine
(Vitamin B¹), Folic Acid (Vitamin B⁹), Calcium, Riboflavin (Vitamin B²), Niacin (Vitamin B³),
Vitamin E, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Fibre. It is low in Sodium and fat. The high levels of
Carotene and the eye-saving carotenoids (Lutein, Zeanxanthin and Lycopene) in pawpaw helps
fight against free radicals and help in coloration of egg yolks in layers , the shanks of broilers and
layers, when used as feed ingredient.
2. Rich in Enzymes for Digestion
One of the main challenges of the modern poultry farmer is ensuring digestibility and gut health
of the birds, which allows optimal feed conversion ratio (FCR), meat yield, good environment for
probiotics in the gut and high immunity. These reduce costs, health disasters and waste.
Pawpaw is filled with different enzymes that promote good digestion, good breakdown of
ingested food and gastrointestinal (GIT) health. Papain digests proteins in any medium , whether
acidic, alkaline and neutral . It breaks down proteins in wheat-based or soy/corn based diets.
3. Tenderizing Meat
Papain in pawpaw helps in making meat tender and sweeter. This has been a known method
used by Indians via the use of boiling meat with raw uncooked pawpaw. In some parts of the
tropics, meat is wrapped in pawpaw leaves. At room temperature, a slow reaction of tenderizing
occurs but is heightened at a maximum temperature of 80°C to make it tender .
4. Antioxidant & Immunity Booster
The fruit is a very viable antioxidant to fight against diseases in aging animals. It also creates
more leukocytes (white blood cells) which boosts immunity.
5. Dietary Ingredient For Broiler Finisher & Layer Diet
When the dried peels of pawpaw are added at 120g/kg of Finisher Mash as exposed by
Kamaruzzaman et al (2005) & 90g/kg of Layer Mash as first exposed by Fouzder SK et al (1999),
it allows feed consumption, feed conversion efficiency, survivability and meat yield. The
Pawpaw Leaf is another vital dietary ingredient for poultry diet. Pawpaw leaf meal contains four
identified proteolytic enzymes (Papain, Chymopapain A and B and Papaya Peptidase).
Pawpaw Tree as an Ethnoveterinary Asset
With the recent issue of antibiotic resistance and residues in poultry birds & products as well as the
damaging effects in human consumers, it has become pertinent to visit Mother Nature’s workshop for
efficacious but non-toxic options without antibiotic residues or resistance. One of Mother Nature’s
answers is found in the pawpaw plant.
(a) Pawpaw Seeds as Antihelmintic (Dewormer): The air-dried pawpaw black seeds have deworming properties because it also has carpaine (an bitter alkaloid), carpasemine (or benzyl thiourea) and benzylisothiocynate). This is a cheap, harmless and very effective way of preventing and treating intestinal worms in poultry. Benzyl
isothiocynate contained in the seeds is a very strong dewormer and renders the GIT very harsh to worms so that they cannot inhabit or multiply.
(b) Pawpaw Seeds as Antimicrobial (Antibiotic): The extracts of ripe or unripe Pawpaw seeds and pulp slow and neutralize the microbial activities of E.coli, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhi, Staphyloccocus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, etc.
(c) Pawpaw leaves & roots have antibacterial efficacy against Salmonella typhi and Salmonella
(d) The Latex from the Stem, or from punctured pawpaw fruits and leaves is also a very good dewormer . The latex is dried before being used for this purpose. It is very effective in treating Ascaris nematodes in pigs, poultry and other mammals.
(e) The Dried Latex has Antifungal properties especially when used to treat Candida Albicans, which causes Sour Crop, Candidiasis & Thrush in poultry. Antibiotics cannot kill fungi, it is even a known fact that an abuse of antibiotics and poorly fermented feed cause serious fungal infections.
(f) The edible pulp of Pawpaw has curative impact (due to Vitamin A) and antimicrobial impact on healing of wounds and ulcers especially necrotic enteritis in the intestines of birds due to the presence of proteolytic enzymes like Papain and Chymopapain.
(g) Pawpaw is anti-inflammatory due to Vitamin A, that’s why it is used in prevention and treatment of coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis. The Vitamin A facilitates the healing of the damaged intestines and stops diarrhea (bloody or mucus). It also has Fibrin which helps in blood clotting; a very necessary action in treating coccidiosis.
(h) Pawpaw is also known to regulate the immune system, fight free radicals that cause diseases and oxidative stress in broilers and layers. The Ripe fruit can be fermented with yeast, lactic acid bacteria and seaweed to create a very potent antioxidant & probiotic.
(i) Pawpaw is hepatoprotective (protects the liver), removes toxins from the liver and reduces cholesterol in broilers. It ensures the birds have less fatty meat but increases meat yield.
(j) Latex from unripe Pawpaw fruits is larvacidal. It kills mosquito larvae and can be used to control mosquito reproductive populations near the poultry pen; this counters the spread of Fowl Pox, since mosquitoes are the main vectors of it.
(k) Since Pawpaw has 33% more vitamin C and 50% more potassium than oranges, as well as 13% more Vitamin C & more than twice Potassium than apples, it serves as a good anti-stress medication in poultry.