UTILIZATION OF PRUNING WASTE OF CACTUS PEAR IN SHEEP DIETS DURING THE DRY SEASON IN TEMASCALAPA, MEXICO STATE
An adult cactus pear orchard can produce as much as 10 tons of cladodes ha-1 year-1 of pruning waste in the Pyramids Region of Mexico State, representing approximately 175,000 tons of succulent material suitable for use as fodder. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the inclusion of pruning waste in sheep diets during winter to improve sustainability and profitability of the agricultural production systems. Seventy five heads (4 rams, 48 ewes and 23 lambs) of the local Criollo breed were used. They were divided into four groups (one ram, 12 ewes and their six lambs) and randomly assigned to one of the following treatments: T1; total confinement with a complete diet (diet 1, 2 kg hd-1 day-1), T2; total confinement with a complete diet (diet 2, 1.6 kg plus 4.0 kg of cactus pear hd-1 day-1) fed at 08:00 am and 4:00 pm, T3; sheep ranged from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, confined overnight and supplemented with 0.8 kg of diet 2 plus 2.0 kg of cladodes hd-1 day-1, T4; sheep ranged as T3 but supplemented with 2.0 kg of corn stover head-1 day-1 (traditional system). The experiment lasted 124 days. Average initial live weight was 549.5 ±7.1 kg, and final live weight varied from 680.0 to 943.0 kg, treatments 4 and 1, respectively. The change in live weight was due to the increase in live weight of the adults and lambs as well as the new borns. However, the lowest feed cost resulting in T3 and T2, where cactus pear was included. It was concluded that the inclusion of cactus pear may represent an important alternative to utilize agricultural resources and increase animal production.
Flores Valdez, C.A., Aranda Osorio, G. and Cruz Miranda, M. (2006). UTILIZATION OF PRUNING WASTE OF CACTUS PEAR IN SHEEP DIETS DURING THE DRY SEASON IN TEMASCALAPA, MEXICO STATE. Acta Hortic. 728, 263-268
cactus pear cladodes, fodder, confinement, ranging, animal production