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


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 × 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.

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Acid Detergent Fibre


Acid Detergent Lignin


Crude Protein


Dry Matter


metres above sea level


Neutral Detergent Fiber


Organic Matter


Standard Error of the Mean


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Authors are grateful to the personnel of the farm of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production of the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM) in particular those of the sheep unit for their help and support for this work. Our gratitude also to the staff of the laboratory of the Department of Animal Nutrition and Feeding of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production of the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM). This work was achieved thanks to the financial support of Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México through project grant UAEM 1680/2003.

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Correspondence to C. M. Arriaga-Jordán.

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García-Winder, L.R., Goñi-Cedeño, S., Olguín-Lara, P.A. et al. Huizache (Acacia farnesiana) whole pods (flesh and seeds) as an alternative feed for sheep in Mexico. Trop Anim Health Prod 41, 1615–1621 (2009).

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  • Acacia farnesiana
  • Huizache
  • Pelibuey sheep
  • Shrubs
  • Pods
  • Mexico