Huizache (Acacia farnesiana) whole pods (flesh and seeds) as an alternative feed for sheep in Mexico

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2009 Dec;41(8):1615-21. doi: 10.1007/s11250-009-9355-2. Epub 2009 Apr 24.


Two experiments were undertaken to evaluate the use of pods from Huizache (Acacia farnesiana), common in the arid and semiarid regions of Mexico, on the perfromance and apparent digestibility in Pelibuey Mexican hair growing ewe lambs. Twenty-four Pelibuey ewe lambs were used in the animal performance experiment, with a mean live weight of 14.91 +/- 1.48 kg, randomnly allocated to three groups which received ad libitum for 77 days (11 weeks) experimental whole rations T0 with 0%, T12 with 12% or T24 with 24% inclusión of dried and ground Huizache pods. Dry matter intakes (g/kg (0.75) daily) were 83, 95, 90 for T0, T12, and T24 respectively (P > 0.05). Mean daily live-weight gain was 90, 75, and 63 g/day for T0, T12, and T24 (P < 0.001). Nine Pelibuey ewe lambs were used to determine apparent digestibility in vivo of the experimental diets using a 3 x 3 latin square design repeated three times. There were differences in the digestibility of dry matter (P < 0.001), organic matter (P < 0.001), nitrogen (P < 0.031), neutral detergent fibre (P < 0.002), and acid detergent fibre (P < 0.001) being lower in T24. Huizache pods may be an alternative feed when included up to 12% of dry matter in the diets for sheep growing moderately.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acacia*
  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Digestion
  • Female
  • Mexico
  • Sheep / growth & development*