EFFECT OF INCLUSION OF CACTUS PEAR CLADODES IN DIETS FOR GROWING-FINISHING LAMBS IN CENTRAL MEXICO
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of forage cactus pear (nopal) in diets for growing-finishing lambs on dry matter intake (DMI), total and daily liveweight gain (LWG and DLG), feed conversion (FC) and profitability (P). Fifty-four male lambs (Corriedale x Criollo) with an average liveweight of 20.2 kg (±3.2 kg) were used. Triads of lambs were formed with similar liveweight and housed in a pen (experimental unit), which were randomly allotted to the following treatments: T0% no nopal (Control), lambs were fed with a regular growing-finishing diet. T15% Nopal, cactus pear at 15% (DM basis) of the ration. T30% nopal, cactus pear at 30% (DM basis) of the ration arranged as completely randomized design with three treatments and six replicates. The diets were formulated in order to fulfill the nutritional requirements for a growing-finishing lambs according to NRC (1985). The cladodes were chopped (approximately 2.5 cm² and mixed by hand with the diet in the feedbunk at each feeding. Lambs were fed twice a day, at 08:00 am and 4:00 pm. The experiment lasted 71 days (adaptation: 14 days, experimental period: 56 days). The inclusion of 15 or 30% cactus pear in 15 or 30% represented 55 and 75% as fed basis for T15% and T30%, respectively. Results showed that initial liveweight was similar (P>0.01) among treatments, as well as the LWG between T0% (34.54 kg) and T15% (33.95 kg), but T30% (30.71 kg) was lower (P<0.01). DMI was consistently similar (P>0.01) between T0% (0.928 kg) and T15% (0.993 kg) and higher (P<0.01) than T30% (0.615 kg). Average feed conversion was similar (P>0.01) between T0% (5.14) and T15% (5.09) but higher (P<0.01) than T30% (3.44). Lambs fed with high ratio of cactus pear (T30%) were more efficient in converting feed to LWG. The inclusion of cactus pear reduced feed cost in approximately 48 and 65% for T15% and T30%, in relation to T0%. Thus, LWG cost was reduced in about 29.1 and 64.3% in T15% and T30% in relation to T0%. The inclusion of cactus pear between 15 and 30% may represent an important alternative to feed growing-finishing lambs without affecting animal performance and reducing production costs.
Aranda Osorio, G., Flores Valdez, C.A., Cruz Miranda, M., Sanchez del Real, C. and Hernandez Garay, A. (2006). EFFECT OF INCLUSION OF CACTUS PEAR CLADODES IN DIETS FOR GROWING-FINISHING LAMBS IN CENTRAL MEXICO. Acta Hortic. 728, 269-274
fodder, Opuntia, liveweight gain, feed intake, feed conversion, animal performance