Article

Study on the optimal level of cactus pear ( Opuntia ficus- indica) supplementation to sheep and its contribution as source of water

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Abstract

A 90-day experiment using a randomised complete block design with eight sheep per treatment was conducted to determine the optimum cactus pear supplementation level and its contribution as source of water. Cactus pear replaced 0%, 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% of pasture hay (CO, C20, C40, C60 and C80, respectively), on dry matter (DM) basis. Total DM, nutrients and water intake (P < 0.001) and digestibility and sheep performance (P < 0.05) were significantly affected. The highest DM intake (92 g/kg W-0.75) was recorded on treatment group C60. Sheep on the control diet drank the highest amount of water (1226 ml/day), while supplemented sheep drunk negligible amount of water. There were no significant (P > 0.05) differences in digestibility among treatments groups, except between C80 and the control group. Only sheep on treatment diet C80 were in a negative N balance. All experimental sheep maintained body weight, and the highest average daily gain (ADG) was recorded on treatment diet C20 (+33.0 g/day). It is concluded that cactus pear could optimally substitute pasture hay up to 60%. Its inclusion has a substantial contribution in satisfying the water requirement of the sheep. The study demonstrated the nutritional potential of cactus pear to mitigate feed and water shortages in drought prone dry areas of the tropics and sub-tropics. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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... Sheep water requirements can be met from water in feeds, which vary from as low as 5% in dry feeds to as high as 90% in fresh grasses and legumes, forage watermelon and cactus species (Araújo et al., 2010;Cordova-Torres et al., 2017). Overall, inclusion of forage cactus in sheep diets either as fresh, silage or hay reduced water intake, and either had neutral or positive effects on rumination efficiencies and nutrient digestibility (De Sousa Nobre et al., 2018;Tegegne et al., 2007). De Abreu et al. (2019) reported that inclusion of forage cactus up to 66% improved average daily gain without compromising physicochemical and sensory quality of lamb meat. ...
... This is because forage cactus has high moisture content (850-900 g/kg), which can meet animals' water requirements (Cordova-Torres et al., 2017;De Sousa Nobre et al., 2018). The ability of cactus to maintain more water in its cells is due to mucilage presence, a hydrophilic mucus-like compound that has high water binding capacity (Tegegne et al., 2007). Apart from being a water supplement, forage cactus is high in soluble carbohydrates (251-710 g/kg), calcium (40-80 g/kg) and α-carotene, with low CP levels (25-83 g/kg) (De Sousa Nobre et al., 2018;Tegegne et al., 2007) making it a suitable supplement for low producing animals. ...
... The ability of cactus to maintain more water in its cells is due to mucilage presence, a hydrophilic mucus-like compound that has high water binding capacity (Tegegne et al., 2007). Apart from being a water supplement, forage cactus is high in soluble carbohydrates (251-710 g/kg), calcium (40-80 g/kg) and α-carotene, with low CP levels (25-83 g/kg) (De Sousa Nobre et al., 2018;Tegegne et al., 2007) making it a suitable supplement for low producing animals. ...
Article
Water scarcity is among key the challenges facing sheep production in the arid and semiarid areas, and is predicted to worsen in future. Despite sheep in dry areas being capable of surviving relatively long periods with little water, deficiency of this essential nutrient produces lightweight carcasses and dark, dry and less tender meat. Responses to impacts of water scarcity have often been reactive rather than proactive, focusing on crisis rather than risk management. To effectively minimise the impact of water scarcity on dryland sheep meat production and quality, water-scarce countries should adopt a new paradigm for water management aimed at risk reduction. This entails identification and adoption of a menu of local recovery and resilience interventions spanning the spectrum from management of water, feed and animals to human resources capacitation. Most of the existing recovery and resilience strategies in water-scarce sheep producing countries have, however, not been widely adopted due to lack of evidence, resources, and adaptive capacity. The current review, therefore, discusses the impacts of water scarcity on sheep meat production and quality, and identifies a portfolio of local recovery and resilience strategies for adoption by dryland countries.
... Animals fed exclusively with cactus pear may present weight loss, decreased milk fat and digestive disturbances such as diarrhoea and distended tympanic abdomen (Tegegne, et al., 2007). Cactus pear associated with other fibre sources increases DM levels in the diet and maintains normal conditions in the rumen, thus preventing such undesired effects. ...
... Other authors have evaluated cactus pear supplementation and its contribution as a source of water for sheep (Tegegne et al., 2007) and dairy goats (Costa et al., 2009). ...
... The average EE content of the different OFI ecotypes and the "Gialla" cv. was 14.70 g kg -1 DM (± 1.77), and it varied between 13.58 g kg -1 DM (±1.91) (OFI-13 ecotype) and 15.71 g kg -1 DM (± 1.24) (OFI-04 ecotype). Several authors reported EE values between 21 g kg -1 DM and 23 g kg -1 DM (NRC, 2007;Mciteka, 2008;Vilela et al., 2010), which were higher than those determined by us and by Tegegne et al. (2007) (11.9 g kg -1 DM). ...
Thesis
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The main objectives of this thesis were to characterize and evaluate Portuguese Opuntia spp. ecotypes for biomass production and the cladodes nutritional quality for fodder, and for fruit yield and quality. In addition, the genetic diversity was assessed with nuclear microsatellite (nuSSR) markers. The plant vigour and biomass production were evaluated in germplasm of O. ficus-indica by non-destructive methods, 3 years following planting. Among ecotypes, significant differences were found in the studied biomass-related parameters and several homogeneous groups were established. In the case of the cladodes nutritional profile significant, differences were found in the crude protein and the ash content, and different groups were unfolded. In general, O. ficus-indica has a low dry matter content, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber, and high content in non-fiber carbohydrates and metabolizable energy. Fruit production was evaluated in the second and third years after plantation. Significant differences were found among O. ficus-indica ecotypes, and different groups were established. The Italian cultivars “Gialla” and “Bianca” had highest fruit yield than Portuguese ecotypes. Besides, the morphology, bioactive compounds and antioxidant properties of fruits were studied in twenty ecotypes belonging to the species O. ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. dillenii and O. elata. The fruits displayed variability in morphological and bioactive characteristics. The analysis of genetic diversity using nuSSR markers within a set of 19 ecotypes, belonging to the four previously-mentioned species, was undertaken. The hierarchical clustering analysis revealed four major groups that clearly disentangled the Opuntia spp. species. Two subclusters were found considering the O. ficus-indica ecotypes. The results revealed a low level of genetic diversity among the ecotypes of O. ficus-indica.
... In places where water is a limiting factor for animal production, the high-water content of the cactus acts as an alternative to the water needs of animals. [15]. Opuntia, which is harvested from both wild and cultivated plantations to feed animals, is well consumed by them since it has been observed that all types of livestock, including cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and horses, prefer it to straw [16]. ...
... In the study conducted by Costa et al. [64] the voluntary intake of water decreased with increased levels of cactus pear in the diet of lambs, passing from 4.9 to 2.3 kg/day, demonstrating the importance of O. ficus-indica as a source of water in semiarid regions such as Brazil [64]. In other studies, it has been observed that when spineless cactus was supplied to sheep exceeded 300 g DM per day, animals consumed essentially no drinking water [15,65]. In Mexico, feeding Opuntia cladodes (untreated or protein enriched, from 500 g to 3 kg/day), was tested in ewes as a substitute for alfalfa hay (1.5 kg), during the last trimester of gestation to evaluate milk yield, birth weight, and lamb growth. ...
Article
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During the past decades, livestock production has increased significantly, which has led to the degradation of rangelands due to overgrazing. The lack of water in several arid areas has led to a decline in crop and animal husbandry. As a consequence, the demand for drought-resistant crops has increased significantly so as to keep crop and animal husbandry systems viable and sustainable. Cactaceae have adaptive characteristics that ensure their development progress under drought conditions. The present review provides information on the nutritive value of Opuntia in animal fodder production, its effects on animal performance, and the quality of the animal-derived products. In conclusion, the use of Opuntia as innovative alternative feed would render animal production systems more sustainable.
... Its impact on diet intake is improved when associated with a protein source. Total DM intake in lamb receiving pasture hay and cactus was 26% higher than that in lamb fed on pasture hay alone (Tegegne et al., 2007). The replacement of energy sources, such as barley grain or ground corn (Costa et al., 2012) by cactus in sheep diets increased total DM intake by 6% and 25%, respectively. ...
... Cactus supply has no adverse effect on diet digestibility and may improve it (Ben Salem et al., 2004). Soluble carbohydrate-rich feeds like molasses and cactus improve diet palatability and enhance rumen fermentation, usually leading to increased total DM intake and/or diet digestibility (Tegegne et al., 2007). Depending on the diet composition, cactus increased organic matter (OM) digestibility of the diet by 2-10% in cactus-receiving lambs, and this could be the result of improved rumen fermentation (Costa et al., 2012). ...
Chapter
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Opuntia spp. are among the most important potential crops in the sustainable agricultural development of arid and semi-arid regions. They are mostly known as a fruit crop, and it is slowly achieving the status of the formal crop; however, there is an increased interest in Opuntia fruit and cladode production due to the great demand for human and animal nutrition in the global market. Fruit are harvested based on peel color, fruit size, fullness and flattening of the floral cavity or receptacle. They are non-climacteric and highly perishable with a short shelf life of few days under marketing conditions. Shelf life is mainly affected by decay, which is related to physical damages during harvest and handling. The fruit is also susceptible to chilling injury when exposed to a prolonged cold temperature below 9 °C. For harvested cladodes, the acid content and flavor may fluctuate significantly during the day and can also be affected by postharvest storage temperature. Therefore, to reduce decay, maintain quality, and prolong the shelf life of Opuntia fruit and cladode, this chapter will discuss on harvest methods, as well as postharvest physiology and technology of Opuntia species that are used for the production of fruit, as well as cladodes that are widely used as a type of vegetables for human nutrition, in addition to those used as forage for animal feed.
... p < 0.0022). These results agree with those found by Costa et al. (2009) and Tegegne et al. (2007), who also found a reduction in WI vol and an increase WI feed when including forage palm (Opuntia fícus-indica) in the diets of goats and sheep respectively. However, Tegegne et al. (2007) found a higher WI total when adding more forage palm. ...
... These results agree with those found by Costa et al. (2009) and Tegegne et al. (2007), who also found a reduction in WI vol and an increase WI feed when including forage palm (Opuntia fícus-indica) in the diets of goats and sheep respectively. However, Tegegne et al. (2007) found a higher WI total when adding more forage palm. ...
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of diets containing different levels of Pilosocereus gounellei, (xiquexique), (0, 120, 240 and 360 g/kg DM) on intake, performance, ingestive behaviour and water use efficiency in sheep finished in confinement. Twenty noncastrated Santa Inês male lambs with an initial mean body weight of 18.86 ± 1.41 kg and approximately 100 days of age were distributed in a completely randomised design of four diets containing different levels of xiquexique (0, 120, 240 and 360 g/kg DM) with five replications. The inclusion of xiquexique in the diet resulted in a quadratic response (P <0.05) in the consumption of fresh matter and non-fibrous carbohydrates. The consumption of dry matter and of other nutrients decreased (P <0.05) with the levels of xiquexique in the diet. Feed conversion, rumination time, idle time, rumination efficiency (g/h DM), total water intake and total water conversion were not influenced (P >0.05) by the levels of xiquexique. Total weight gain, average daily gain (ADG), feeding time, feeding efficiency (g NDF/h), rumination efficiency, frequency of water intake and voluntary water intake decreased (P<0.05) linearly. Water intake from the feed increased (P <0.05) with the levels of xiquexique, and there was a quadratic response for water conversion (WC), with a minimum value of 16.27 g water/g ADG, when the proportion of xiquexique in the diet reached 316 g/kg DM. Xiquexique can be used for intermediate levels of performance, and contributes to the water supply of sheep in regions that are more susceptible to climatic vulnerability.
... There are many studies about the effect of levels of spineless cactus in ruminant feeding, among which noteworthy cases are those addressing the use of cactus as a source of energy and water (ANDRADE-MONTEMAYOT et al., 2011;COSTA et al., 2009;TEGEGNE et al., 2007) as well as the implications of its use on the performance and maintenance of normal rumen conditions (COSTA et al., 2010;TEGEGNE et al., 2010;BISPO et al., 2007). Several factors have been associated with the use of spineless cactus in the diet of ruminants, e.g. ...
... Misra et al. (2006) observed that when spineless cactus was added to the diet of ruminants, there were alterations in the proportions of the main VFA, with decreasing acetate production and increasing propionate production. Those authors attributed this response to the addition of rapidly fermentable carbohydrates when spineless cactus is added to the diets, because this forage species is high in non-fibrous carbohydrates (CAVALCANTI et al., 2008;TEGEGNE et al., 2007). Contrastingly, in in vivo experiments with goats developed parallel to this study, authors did not report alterations in the VFA profile when spineless cactus was added to the diet of the animals (PINHO, 2016). ...
Article
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the levels of spineless-cactus mucilage on the in vitro rumen fermentation of cellulose, starch, and protein. A completely randomized experimental design was adopted with a 5 × 3 factorial arrangement consisting of five levels of spineless-cactus mucilage (0, 5, 10, 20, and 40%) and three substrates (carboxymethylcellulose, starch, and trypticase). Treatments were evaluated in a ruminal environment simulated by in vitro incubation at different times of assessment: 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h. The incubation procedure was repeated three times, totaling three evaluations per incubation time for each treatment. There was an interaction (P<0.05) between the mucilage levels and substrate for all evaluated ruminal parameters, except for the concentration of microbial protein after 48 h of fermentation and for the proportions of acetate and butyrate fermentation at time 0 h. There was a quadratic increase (P<0.05) in the concentration of ammoniacal nitrogen after 48 h of incubation in the media containing carboxymethylcellulose and trypticase. pH values decreased quadratically (P<0.05) as a function of the mucilage levels in the media containing carboxymethylcellulose and trypticase. Overall, no expressive alterations were observed between the individual molar proportions of acetate, propionate, and butyrate with the addition of spineless-cactus mucilage levels to the different substrates. Spineless- cactus mucilage affects the pattern of fermentation of starch, cellulase, and protein performed by rumen microorganisms.
... With an advantage of minimum agronomical input for its propagation, spineless cactus could provide a major source of water (89.9 per cent) and energy (8.40 MJ ME per kg dry matter) in the diet of ruminants (Ben Salem et al., 2002;Abidi et al., 2009). Voluntary intake of water by lambs significantly decreased from 1226 ml to 6 ml per day when spineless cactus replaced 80 per cent of the hay in the diet (Tegegne et al., 2007). The digestibility of dry matter, organic matter and crude protein increased with the inclusion of cactus in the diet of lamb (Ben Salem et al., 1996). ...
... The increased intake of spineless cactus proportionately reduced water intake of lambs in the experimental groups. The average intake of water in control group was similar to that reported by Gebremariam et al. (2006) and Tegegne et al. (2007) who reported a linear decrease in the voluntary intake of water with increasing levels of cactus inclusion in the diets. The digestibility of dry matter and organic matter in the diet of group T3 was higher than T1 (control) or T2 group of lambs (P<0.05) ( Table 5). ...
... The organic matter and CP digestibility were higher for the large cladodes compared to the small cladodes (Andrade et al. 2011b), and the greatest weight gain in lambs was obtained with diets containing 20% cactus (Tegegne, 2007;Andrade et al. 2011b). The inclusion of cactus in goat and sheep diets improved both DM and OM consumption, increased the CP digestibility, and reduced water consumption (Costa et al. 2009;Andrade et al. 2011a;Andrade et al. 2011b). ...
Article
The objective of this research was to determine the effect of adding compost on nutritive valueof cactus cladodes during the four seasons of the year. The production, chemical composition,and in vitro digestibility of a cactus variety with spines (WS) and a cactus variety without spines(WOS), were subjected to a complete block design with three quantities of compost (0, 61 and122 t ha-1) and four seasons (summer, fall, and winter 2013 and spring 2014). The WS varietyproduced more dry matter (DM) (p=0.035) and crude protein (CP) (p=0.037) than the WOSvariety. Although CP, fiber constituents, and mineral composition of cactus varied (p<0.001)with respect to season of the year, in vitro DM digestibility did not differ (p=0.29) acrossseasons. Both cactus varieties had high ash (29.0 to 29.2%) and moisture (89.5 to 91.7%)contents. Adding compost to the soil improved (p<0.001) the average DM production of bothcactus varieties. Compost addition also increased the lignin (p=0.008), phosphorus (p<0.001)and zinc (p=0.025) concentrations and reduced (p=0.04) the in vitro DM digestibility. The highash and moisture contents of cactus could reduce the densities of energy and other nutrientsthat are consumed by livestock.
... Using spineless cactus pear can also increase dry matter intake and improve nutrient digestion. Spineless cactus has potential to alleviate feed and water shortage in the dry season and dry periods in tropical and subtropical arid areas (Tegegne et al., 2007). Cactus pear fruit productivity ranged between 1 and 5 t ha -1 with an average of 2.5 t ha -1 (Figure 1). ...
Article
Full-text available
Arid and semi-arid lands are considered unsuitable for crop production because they require substantial amounts of water and additional nutrients. However, certain species can perform well and enhance the livelihoods of poor farmers. In the semi-arid regions of Tunisia, cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica L. Mill.) is a potential subsistence fruit and forage plant. Sixty questionnaire surveys were conducted in Kairouan and Sidi Bouzid Provinces to assess the cost and benefits of cactus pear cultivation for feed and fruit production. Results showed that cactus pear production systems are characterized by low inputs; 85% of the farmers surveyed are using cactus pear for animal feed during the summer and fall compared to 26 and 37% in winter and spring. Fifty percent of the annual cactus pear cladode production (between 10 and 40 t ha-1) is used for livestock feeding. Fruit productivity ranged between 1 to 5 t ha-1 with an average of 2.5 t ha-1. Both fruits and cladodes are harvested manually. The estimated net profitability of 1 ha of cactus pear is about 800 USD (32% fodder production and 62% fruit production). Farmers in semi-arid regions of Tunisia are practicing traditional production system techniques. However, with the new technologies available, a wide range of products based on fruits and cladodes can be obtained, which can increase cactus pear profitability. Hence, efforts are needed to train farmers. We concluded that cactus pear cultivation would strengthen agro-pastoral system resilience by mitigating the negative impacts of climate change and enhancing pastoralist incomes.
... In this study, NDF ranged from 13.5% to 40.90%, which reflects that cactus has a good forage quality [39]. When ruminants are fed with cactus pear with no other forage source, the animals experience diarrhea and weight loss due to low levels of digestible NDF [16]. Therefore, to increase productive performance, several authors recommend including a fiber source from other forage in animal diets containing spineless forage cactus [44,45]. ...
Article
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In Kutch (Gujarat District, India), there is a growing concern about the lack of good quality forage owing to the arid climate and poor soil health. Opuntia ficus-indica has been increasingly recognized as a drought-resilient forage in arid Kutch. This study seeks to identify the maturity phase of cactus cladodes with the best forage qualities. Five accessions of spineless forage cactus (CBG, No. 1270, No. 1271, No. 1308, and Bianca Macomer) and three cladode maturity phases (young, intermediate, and mature) were examined in a randomized block design experiment in a 5 × 3 factorial arrangement. Although only mineral matter and total carbohydrate concentration were significantly different among the accessions, CBG showed better forage qualities than other accessions. Dry matter, organic matter, mineral matter, crude protein, ether extract, and total carbohydrate accumulations were higher in the intermediate phase. In the mature phase, relatively difficult to digest fiber components such as neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose increase. Our findings indicate that for spineless forage cactus grown in arid areas, the intermediate phase is the best phase to harvest cladodes for feeding livestock.
... Given the general relationships and/or interplay between biological and societal phenomena, there is a greater need for a transdisciplinary approach (Kueffer, 2013;Vaz, Kueffer, Kull, Richardson, Schindler, et al., Saenz, 2000;Sáenz, 2002;Yahia & Sáenz, 2011). In Brazil, about 40,000 ha is devoted to forage production (Yahia & Sáenz, 2011), and in Ethiopia, it is used for both human and animal consumption (Dejene et al., 2020;Gebremariam et al., 2006;Tegegne et al., 2007). In South Africa, there is a particular interest in the informal market (mainly in the Eastern Cape) that is maintained by wild plants (Shackleton et al., 2007(Shackleton et al., , 2011. ...
Article
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Opuntia ficus‐indica, commonly known as prickly pear, is a widely distributed plant originating in central America. Its wide distribution and popularity as a cultivated plant are due to the sweetness of its fruits. Here, the role of O. ficus‐indica in the livelihoods of people in Limpopo Province, South Africa, was investigated. Roadside traders of prickly pear were surveyed 2019–2020 using paper‐based questionnaires and a convenience sampling strategy. Evidence of O. ficus‐indica trading as a means to generate income was uncovered. Notably, none of the traders knew about invasive species. Future studies should seek to understand the motivations of purchasers. The extent to which rural communities use this species for food security and poverty alleviation is not fully understood. The Opuntia ficus‐indica (whose fruits are traded in South Africa) is a species that is classified according to the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10/2004) Alien and Invasive Species (NEM:BA A&IS) regulations as an invasive species. This study sought to provide an understanding of the socio‐economic value of O. ficus‐indica and the characteristic profiles of the people who trade with O. ficus‐indica in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. A convenience sampling strategy was conducted along trading roads in Limpopo province, and the data were collected by surveying traders' attitudes toward the prickly pear trade using questionnaires. Our findings show that at the time of sampling 72 traders participated in prickly pear trading along the roadside. Unemployment is cited as the primary reason for their involvement in trading. O. Ficus‐indica is an important fruit for rural communities in Limpopo province. It helps communities living below the poverty line to generate income and to support their livelihoods. Our study highlights the need for the establishment of a Prickly Pear Traders' Agency in order to promote the trade of O. ficus‐indica as a measure to generate income, alleviate poverty, and ensure food security. The paper concludes with recommendations for local government support for O. ficus‐indica traders through the formalization of the trade and through monetary support. Opuntia ficus‐indica, commonly known as prickly pear, is a widely distributed plant originating in central America. Its wide distribution and popularity as a cultivated plant due to the sweetness of its fruits. Here, the role of O. ficus‐indica in the livelihoods of people in Limpopo Province, South Africa, was investigated. Roadside traders of prickly pear were surveyed 2019–2020 using paper‐based questionnaires and a convenience sampling strategy. Evidence of O. ficus‐indica trading as a means to generate income was uncovered. Notably, none of the traders knew about invasive species. Future studies should seek to understand the motivations of purchasers. The extent to which rural communities use this species for food security and poverty alleviation is not fully understood.
... Morshedy et al. [31] also reported a low DMI of cactus diets relative to non-cactus feeds in sheep fed 5 and 10 g/head/day. In general, cactus possesses an astringent taste at first consumption and when included in large amounts tends to reduce feed palatability, thereby reducing DMI [32,33]. In this study, low acceptability of cactus diets was reflected on similar BCS between week 1 and 2 for heifers fed 20% cactus diet ( Figure S1). ...
Article
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Citation: Nyambali, A.; Mndela, M.; Tjelele, T.J.; Mapiye, C.; Strydom, P.E.; Raffrenato, E.; Dzama, K.; Muchenje,
... Morshedy et al. [18] also reported a low DMI of cactus diets relative to non-cactus feeds in sheep fed 5 and 10 g/head/day. In general, cactus possesses an astringent taste at first consumption and when included in large amounts tends to reduce feed palatability, thereby reducing DMI [7,31]. In this study, low acceptability of cactus diets was reflected on similar BCS between week 1 and 2 for heifers fed 20% cactus diet ( Figure S1). ...
Preprint
In an attempt to improve free-range beef cattle herds and explore the economic viability of utilizing Opuntia ficus-indica (spineless cactus) cladodes as supplementary feed, we investigated the impact of cactus diets on animal growth performance and carcass characteristics of Nguni cattle heifers. Four dietary treatments were randomly assigned to 32 heifers aged 24-months, weighing on average 172.2±27.1 kg, with each dietary treatment replicated to 8 individually penned heifers for 90 days. The dietary treatments were control diet (pasture-based energy + protein sources), 10% cactus diet, 20% cactus diet and commercial diet (crop-based energy and commercial protein source). The heifers fed commercial and control diets attained significantly (P < 0.05) higher dry matter intake, average daily gains, fat thickness, carcass conformation scores and lower feed conversion ratio than those fed cactus diets. However, the final body weight gains, slaughter and carcass weights, rib-eye muscle area and meat pH45 min and 24h were comparable (P > 0.05) between heifers fed cactus diets and those fed commercial and control diets. The 10 and 20% cactus diets had greater gross margins (P < 0.05) of R278.6 and R296.9, respectively than the other diets, due largely to reduced total variable costs. The comparability of carcass traits of heifers fed cactus diets and those fed non-cactus diets as well as higher economic returns from cactus inclusion warrants the use of cactus diets, particularly during drought when commercial feed prices rise.
... food and livestock feed (Tegegne et al., 2007). It has been reported that cladodes of O. ficus-indica produce a chitinbinding lectin called OfiL (Santana et al., 2009), which exhibited insecticidal activity against termites of the species Nasutitermes corniger and antinutritional effects on adults of Sitophilus zeamais (maize weevil) . ...
Article
This study evaluated the effects of acute exposure of Aedes aegypti third instar (L3 ) larvae to the saline extract of Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes on the biological cycle and fertility of the emerging adults. For this, larvae were treated for 24 h with the extract at ¼ LC50 (lethal concentration to kill 50% of larvae), ½ LC50 or LC50 ; the development and reproduction of the emerged adults were evaluated after a recovery period of 9 days. The resistance of proteins in the extract to hydrolysis by L3 digestive enzymes and histomorphological alterations in the larval midgut were also investigated. The extract contained lectin, flavonoids, cinnamic derivatives, terpenes, steroids, and reducing sugars. It showed a LC50 of 3.71% for 48 h. The data indicated mean survival times similar in control and extract treatments. It was observed development delay in extract-treated groups, with a lower number of adults than in control. However, the females that emerged laid similar number of eggs in control and treatments. Histological evaluation revealed absence of bacterial and fungal microorganisms in the food content in midguts from larvae treated with cladode extract. Electrophoresis revealed that three polypeptides in the extract resisted to hydrolysis by L3 digestive proteases for 90 min. The lectin activity was not altered even after 24-h incubation with the enzymes. In conclusion, the extract from O. ficus-indica can delay the development of Ae. aegypti larvae, which may be linked to induction of an axenic environment at larval midgut and permanence of lectin activity even after proteolysis.
... The CP content of LB leaf and foliage fractions harvested in the wet season and RHB and BHB leaf and foliage fractions harvested in the dry and wet season are above the 150 g/kg DM CP level required for lactation and growing cattle (Norton, 1994), indicating the potential of the indigenous bamboos as a feed resource to mitigate critical protein shortage during the dry season. However, the CP content of bamboo twig (46-73g/kg DM) is below the maintenance requirement for ruminants, which is below the critical protein requirement level (8%) for ruminants indicating that animals cannot be maintained only on twigs, but comparable with 50 g/kg DM reported for cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) (Firew et al., 2006). In general, dry season CP content of the bamboo varieties was higher than that recorded for natural pasture grass hay and cereal crop residues (Lamrot et al., 2018;Degitu et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Chemical composition and nutritive values of lowland bamboo (LB) (Oxytenanthera abyssinica), red highland bamboo (RHB) and black highland bamboo (BHB) (Yushania alpina) varieties (V) harvested during wet and dry seasons were determined in this study. Morphological fractions of the varieties such as leaves, twigs and foliage were evaluatedo for the purpose. The chemical compositions were determined according to the standard procedures. IVDMD was determine using two-stage rumen inoculum-pepsin method. In sacco N degradability were evaluated by the nylon bag technique using three ruminally fistulated Boran x Holstein Friesian steers. The result of the study revealed that leaves collected from RHB had significantly (P<0.001) higher CP content (209 g/kg DM) than twigs and foliage of other two verities of bamboo. Significantly (P<0.001) higher NDF and ADF contents were recorded for highland bamboo varieties in the dry season which can be implicated for lower ME in the variety. Among the MF, only twig consisted smallest CP content (62 g/kg DM). Leaf collected from LB had significantly (P<0.001) higher IVDMD (447 g/kg) than the leaf of HB varieties (338 and 344 g/kg). The LB leaves and foliages harvested in the wet season had significantly (P<0.001) higher N degradability (69.9-88.3 g/kg DM) than the HB varieties. Likewise, the rapidly soluble, slowly degradable and effective degradability fractions of N were higher in LB leaves and foliages harvested in the wet season than in the leaf of HB varieties. The results of this study suggested the existence of variation on chemical composition and degradability among bamboo verities, morphological fractions and harvesting seasons. It was recommended that these variations among the component of the plant need to be considered for appropriate utilization of bamboo plants as a feed resource for ruminant.
... Bispo et al. (2007) observed dry matter intake of 3.9% of body weight for sheep ingesting diets with 56.0% forage palm. Tegegne, Kijora and Peters (2007), observed maximization in dry matter intake and organic matter intake in sheep receiving diets with 60.0% forage palm (4.3% of body weight). ...
Article
The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of four water salinity levels on productive performance, physiological and behavioral responses of confined sheep. Thus, 24 crossbred sheep, ½ Dorper x ½ Santa Inês were evaluated while receiving ration and water ad libitum. The experimental design was completely randomized, composed of four treatments (1.5; 3.0; 6.0 and 9.0 dSm-1) and six replicates. The water supply with salinity of up to 9.0 dSm-1 did not affect (P > 0.05) the physiological indexes, performance, or ingestive behavior of the animals, which were able to maintain normal physiological conditions even at times when the thermal comfort indexes were above the ideal. For voluntary water consumption, it was observed that there was a significant difference between treatments (P < 0.05), where animals consuming water with a conductivity of 1.5; 3.0 dSm-1 had lower consumption than those who received six dSm-1. The supply of water with a salinity of up to 9.0 dSm-1 did not affect the performance or the ingestive behavior of the animals, so waters with this salinity can be a valid alternative for crossbred sheep in the semi-arid region, as long as it is used seasonally and strategically.
... It has been reported that lambs receiving a diet composed of 43% fresh cactus showed a 59% decrease in their water drinking (Gebremariam et al., 2006). Furthermore, Tegegne et al. (2007) reported that lambs stopped drinking water when there was access to a 55% fresh cactus-containing diet. Therefore, Opuntia plantations are a promising option for alleviating drinking water scarcity in dry areas and during drought periods. ...
Article
Today, the stems of edible Opuntia are consumed as vegetables, cattle food, and processed food, in addition to being used for raw materials in cosmetics and medical supplies in various countries, including the Mediterranean, South America, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, showing their wide adaptability to various climate zones ranging from arid, semiarid to temperate zones. In a time when global warming and population growth requires an urgent response, there is intense demands in crops like edible Opuntia, which are stress-resistant to extreme environments (e.g., high temperature, dryness) and can be grown in large volumes. Thus, Edible Opuntia have promising potential not only to become general crop consumed globally but also to serve as a model plant for deciphering the mechanisms of their special properties. However, their existence and their traits as crop are not well-known at the global level compared with other global crops. This review explains the physiological features, uses and cultivation technologies including soil and hydroponic culture of edible Opuntia with recent researches.
... Studies covering dairy cows (Oliveira et al., 2007) and sheep (Tegegne et al., 2007) have reported a decrease in NDF digestibility with an increase in spineless forage cactus in the diet. These results have been substantiated by the increased proportion of NFC in the diet, causing alterations in rumen pH and/or the passage rate. ...
Article
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of five forage cactus genotypes (“Gigante,” “Miúda," “IPA Sertânia," “Orelha de Elefante Mexicana” [OCP], and “Orelha de Elefante Africana” [ACP]) in sheep. The goal was also to show the importance of energy content compared with other forages produced in dryland conditions. Five male sheep cannulated were randomized in a 5 × 5 Latin square design. The experimental diets contained a genotype of spineless forage cactus (440 g/kg of dry matter [DM]), alfalfa hay (585 g/kg DM), and a mineral mixture (15 g/kg DM). The “Gigante” diet promoted lower ruminal pH than the diet containing ACP. There was a lower ruminal ammonia nitrogen concentration observed in the “Gigante” and “Miúda" diets. The highest concentration was found in the “IPA Sertânia" diet. The highest levels of microbial protein synthesis and efficiency were observed for the “IPA Sertânia" diet. Except for the ACP cactus, the spineless forage cactus genotypes featured metabolizable energy content (2.29–2.39 Mcal/kg DM) that was higher than that of alfalfa hay. The spineless forage cactus is suggested to be the primary forage to adopt in semiarid areas due to its high nutritional value and its incomparable production of energy and water per area.
... These results are corroborated by the findings by Chekir et al. (2013) when evaluating the fermentation profile of total mixed ration silages based on Cactus, whey and Barley grains with different Cactus proportions, where they found an adequate fermentation pattern with pH values within the appropriate range and predominance of LAB. The Cactus, besides being rich in water and non-fibrous carbohydrates, has high concentrations of pectin, which provides high fermentation rates and hence a quick release of soluble sugars, which are, in turn, efficiently used by microbial groups, especially LAB (Tegegne et al., 2007). ...
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Cactus (Opuntia spp) levels in total mixed ration silages based on Cactus and Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Steud) on the fermentation profile, microbial populations, aerobic stability and taxonomic diversity. The completely randomized design was used in a 4 × 4 factorial design with four replications, being four rations with different levels of Cactus (15, 30, 45, 60% based on the dry matter) and four opening periods (0, 15, 30 and 60 days of fermentation). An interaction effect (P < 0.050) was observed among the diets and opening times for mould and yeast populations. An interaction effect for the levels of acetic acid was observed, where the diets 15, 30, 45 and 60% showed higher values at 60 days (0.44, 0.41, 0.35 and 0.40 g/kg DM, respectively). A significant difference was observed for the richness and diversity index (Chao1 and Shannon). The most abundant bacterial phyla were Proteobacteria and Firmicutes and the genera Lactobacillus and Weissella. Cactus can be added in total mixed ration silages up to the level of 60% in a way that it positively affects the qualitative indicators of the silages, modulating the taxonomic communities and allowing the predominance of important groups for preservation of the ensiled mass.
... O uso da palma na dieta de ruminantes possui suas particularidades onde esse recurso alimentar deve estar associado a uma fonte de fibra. Diversas pesquisas demonstram sua importância e diferentes formas de utilização, assim para otimizar a utilização da palma forrageira na dieta de ruminantes é necessário ter conhecimento de suas características e da associação da palma com outros ingredientes alimentares promovendo condições adequadas de alimentação e melhorias no desempenho animal (BISPO et al., 2007;TEGEGNE et al., 2007;WANDERLEY et al., 2012;ALMEIDA et al., 2015). ...
Article
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The objective of this review is to explain concepts and information about cactus culture, its origin, introduction, expansion, cultivation, pests, diseases and use in human and animal feeding. The cactus is an exotic cactus of Mexican origin that was brought to Brazil by colonizers, over the years discovered its use in animal feed, in addition to the human, can be considered at the present time as one of the most cultivated cacti in regions of arid climates and semi-arid regions due to their high adaptability under adverse conditions. It presentspotentialuse in human food, animal, energy production and various other purposes. With the accomplishment of new studies,one can be able to identify cultivars of cactus,more resistant to pests and diseases as well as more productive which could increase still more the capacity of use of the culture. The forage cactus is a crop that can be used by several species of animals such as cattle, goats, sheep (in Brazil the supply is predominant in natura, but can also be by grazing, bran and silage, having as genus moreused Opuntia spp. and Nopalea spp.) and less common for birds, equines and pigs
... In fact, during periods of drought, ranchers allow cattle and sheep to eat the pads, after burning off the spines, as a resource of both food and water [14][15][16][17]. When sheep fed with spineless cactus exceeded 300 g/d dry matter, their drinking water intake approached zero [18,19].The more recent studies investigating the effects of Opuntia forage on rumen digestion, weight gain and other physiological traits in cattle, sheep, or goats showed that the animals fed diets in which Opuntia forage was supplemented with protein-rich feeds improved their health status and reproductive performance [20]. However, the use of Opuntia in combination with other feed sources can be opportune to also reduce forage crop demand for ruminants in dry-land areas [20]. ...
Article
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In Sicily, the current increasing cultivation of Opuntia ficus-indica corresponds to an availability of prickly pear by-product (PPB) that results from fruit processing for juice extraction. This investigation aims to evaluate the nutritional traits of PPB for ruminant feeding and its stability during a 21-day outdoor storage, using potassium metabisulfite (PMB) as a preservative agent, added to the PPB mass at different doses (0, 50, 100, and 150 g/kg). The fractioning of PPB showed that it included 28% of peel and pulp and 72% of seeds on a dry matter (DM) basis. On the whole, this by-product was low in crude protein (5.32% DM), high in fiber content (51.38%, 41.15% and 14.64% DM for NDFom, ADFom and ADL respectively), non-fiber carbohydrates (NFC, 29.68% DM), and soluble sugars (13.3% DM), with a moderate level of net energy for lactation (4.59 MJ/kg DM). Storage was the main factor of alteration of PPB chemical composition with the exception of ether extract. A decline of NFC and soluble sugars, due to microbial fermentation, was observed with all PMB treatments, especially during the first week of storage, probably due to evolution of both coccus (M17) and rod LAB (MRS), which increased their loads at the seventh day of storage.
... Neto et al. [34] and Araújo [42] affirmed that forage cactus pear may be an important source of water for animal watering in seasons of water scarcity. The observation of higher urinary volume produced by cactus pear forage diets in the in natura form is expected because urinary excretion is necessary to maintain homeostasis between water intake (both voluntary intake and feeding intake) and the excretion of water by the organism [43,44]. It has been proven that goats fed rations containing more than 30% cactus pear forage can stop drinking water and still maintain high urinary excretion [45]. ...
Article
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This study evaluated the performance, body water balance, ingestive behavior and blood metabolites in goats fed with cactus pear silage subjected to an intermittent water supply. Thirty-six goats were distributed in a randomized block design arranged as a 3 × 3 factorial with cactus pear silage in the goats’ diet (on a 0%, 21% and 42% dry matter-DM basis) and water offer frequency (ad libitum, and 24 and 48 h water restrictions). There was an interaction only between the cactus pear silage level and water offerings for drinking water. Goats fed 42% cactus pear silage had greater intake of non-fibrous carbohydrates, energy, Ca, Mg and Na minerals, water intake, urinary water excretion, body water retention and nutrient digestibility. Cactus pear silage inclusion up to a 42% rate reduced eating and ruminating time and increased the time spent idling as well as the eating and the ruminating efficiency rate. Water restriction at 48 h reduced drinking water intake. Performance and blood metabolites were not affected by cactus silage inclusion or water offering. Cactus pear silage inclusion at up to 42% for goats is recommended during periods of water shortage in semiarid and arid regions because it improves eating, the ruminating efficiency rate, and body water retention; cactus pear silage inclusion at this rate reduces water consumption and it does not affect the performance or health of the animals.
... In many semi-arid and arid regions throughout the world, including Mexico and the United States, O. ficus-indica is also used as forage and fodder during periods of drought where ranchers burn off the spines and allow cattle and sheep to utilize the pads as both a food and water resource (Cordova-Torres et al., 2017;Guevara et al., 2011;Guevara, Suassuna, & Felker, 2009;Shoop, Alford, & Mayland, 1977). When spineless cactus supplied to sheep exceeded 300 g DM per day, sheep consumed essentially zero drinking water (Salem, Nefzaoui, Abdouli, & Ørskov, 1996;Tegegne, Kijora, & Peters, 2007). ...
Article
Increased demand for food requires us to investigate livestock forage and fodder crops that can be grown over a wide range of locations where their cultivation will not compete with that of the food supply. A large portion of the southwestern United States consists of underutilized semi‐arid land. Crops typically used for livestock fodder or forage have high‐water demands that make them uneconomical or unsustainable for semi‐arid and arid regions. The growth rate and low‐input requirements of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus‐indica) make it an excellent candidate for forage or fodder supplementation or replacement in these regions. Previous reports about forage quality data on Opuntia have been scattered across multiple locations, growing conditions and cultivars. Here, we report on the forage quality and mineral content of Opuntia ficus‐indica grown under both field and greenhouse conditions. Crude protein was 71 and 264 g/kg of dry mass for field and greenhouse conditions, respectively. Field‐grown plants showed higher acid and neutral detergent fibre content than greenhouse‐grown plants reflecting higher cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin accumulation. Nutritional values were also compared to requirements of cattle to determine what deficiencies might need to be addressed through supplementation. These data suggest that Opuntia can be used in combination with other feed sources to reduce the demand of resource‐intensive forage crops for raising livestock in dryland areas.
... Contudo, seu uso como alimento exclusivo não é recomendado devido à baixa concentração de fibra e proteína; bem como ao seu elevado teor de umidade retido na mucilagem (substância composta por polissacarídeos complexos e com características hidrofílicas), causam efeito laxativo ou fezes amolecidas nos animais. Dessa forma, a palma forrageira deve ser associada a uma fonte de fibra fisicamente efetiva que proporcione um adequado funcionamento do rúmen do animal; assim como a uma fonte de proteína (TEGEGNE et al., 2007). ...
Conference Paper
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Em todo o planeta, a diversidade climática tem feito parte da realidade nos sistemas de produção animal. Seja em clima temperado (ocorrência de geadas) ou árido (escassez de chuvas), a produção animal encontra dificuldades devido à disponibilidade limitada de alimentos no período crítico do ano, prejudicando significativamente o desempenho animal. Em cada "realidade", há aquela forrageira que consegue suprir, em parte, a necessidade alimentar dos animais no período crítico do ano. Nas regiões áridas e semiáridas, a palma forrageira tem se destacado como um excelente recurso forrageiro rico em carboidratos não-fibrosos, além da significativa quantidade de água presente em seus cladódios, apresentando grande potencial na alimentação de ruminantes. Contudo, seu uso como alimento exclusivo não é recomendado devido à baixa concentração de fibra e proteína; bem como ao seu elevado teor de umidade retido na mucilagem (substância composta por polissacarídeos complexos e com características hidrofílicas), causam efeito laxativo ou fezes amolecidas nos animais. Dessa forma, a palma forrageira deve ser associada a uma fonte de fibra fisicamente efetiva que proporcione um adequado funcionamento do rúmen do animal; assim como a uma fonte de proteína (TEGEGNE et al., 2007). Assim como a palma, o capim búffel tem se destacado como uma gramínea bastante utilizada nas regiões áridas e semiáridas, sendo considerada uma das principais fontes de volumosos disponíveis para os animais nessas regiões. Tem sido utilizada tanto para pastejo quanto para produção de alimento conservado na forma de feno, silagem ou pasto diferido. Nesse contexto, a mistura de palma forrageira com o capim búffel otimizaria a utilização desses recursos forrageiros, levando ao aproveitamento dos benefícios da palma juntamente com uma fonte de fibra, impedindo a ocorrência de distúrbios nutricionais nos animais. Recentemente, a produção de silagem de palma forrageira vem ganhando a atenção dos pesquisadores no Semiárido por possibilitar a maximização do uso desta. Assim, pesquisas vêm sendo desenvolvidas com silagens de misturas buscando avaliar as características fermentativas destas, principalmente no que diz respeito a sua composição química-bromatológica. Entretanto, poucos são os estudos com relação à ensilagem da palma. Portanto, objetivou-se avaliar a composição química-bromatológica e teor de nitrogênio amoniacal das silagens na forma de ração à base de palma forrageira e capim búffel. Metodologia (83) 3322.3222 contato@conidis.com.br www.conidis.com.br
... Economically, this species is a multipurpose crop. It requires less investment compared to cereals or other crops with regard to fertilizer inputs and/or pest control (Arba 2020), useful in food industry (Messina et al. 2021), a source of income for farmers, an alternative livestock forage especially during drought periods (Tegegne et al. 2007;Kumar et al. 2021), and a source of bioactive compounds (Silva et al. 2021) with various biological activities such as antioxidant, anticancer, and antimicrobial activities (Farag et al. 2020). ...
Article
This study assessed the impact of prickly pear plantations (PPPs) on soil characteristics and plant diversity in arid and semi-arid steppes of northeastern Algeria. The symbiosis of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) with Opuntia ficus-indica roots was seasonally estimated. In arid and semi-arid climates, stations with PPPs were studied along with unplanted rangelands (NP). At each station, soil physicochemical parameters namely pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total and active CaCO3, organic matter (SOM), total nitrogen (Nt), plant-available phosphorus (PAP) and C/N ratio were determined. Vegetation was surveyed using vegetation cover and species abundance, which were used to compute species diversity indices, disturbance index, and plant functional traits. Mycorrhizal infectivity and intensity were measured for PPPs of both climates. Regardless of the climatic region, PPPs significantly improved vegetation cover (P <0.01), species abundance (P = 0.015), species richness (P <0.001), and SOM (P <0.001) compared to the NP. Plant functional traits revealed that plant community was dominated by therophytes (41–80%), anemochorous (34–48%) and zoochorous species (6–44%), ruderal–stress-tolerant species (80%), and arido-passive species (61–90%), with a Mediterranean chorological trend (61–89%). Endomycorrhizal symbiosis (mycorrhizal frequency = 58–90%, mycorrhizal intensity = 3–25%) was high in roots of PPPs. Redundancy analysis revealed that SOM, EC, Nt, PAP were positively associated with diversity parameters in PPPs. The multifactorial analysis indicated a close linkage between soil, vegetation parameters, and plant functional traits in planted stations compared to NP. This study suggests that PPPs can significantly improve soil properties and contribute to the rehabilitation of arid and semi-arid rangeland steppes.
... Nevertheless, spineless cactus such as Opuntia ficus-indica and Nopalea cochenillifera are considered one of the most important feeds for sheep in arid and semiarid regions (Ben Salem et al., 1996). As a result of its palatability, water content and adaptability to harsh soil and climatic conditions (Costa et al., 2012), it has become a useful feed for ruminants in arid regions (Gebremariam et al., 2006;Tegegne et al., 2007;Costa et al., 2010), especially during the dry season, to compensate the lack of other forages and even water (Santos et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Spineless cactus is a useful feed for various animal species in arid and semiarid regions due to its adaptability to dry and harsh soil, high efficiency of water use and carbohydrates storage. This meta-analysis was carried out to assess the effect of spineless cactus on animal performance, and develop and evaluate equations to predict dry matter intake (DMI) and average daily gain (ADG) in meat lambs. Equations for predicting DMI and ADG as a function of animal and diet characteristics were developed using data from eight experiments. The dataset was comprised of 40 treatment means from 289 meat lambs, in which cactus was included from 0 to 75% of the diet dry matter (DM). Accuracy and precision were evaluated by cross-validation using the mean square error of prediction (MSEP), which was decomposed into mean bias, systematic bias and random error; concordance correlation coefficient, which was decomposed into accuracy (Cb) and precision (ρ); and coefficient of determination (R2). In addition, the data set was used to evaluate the predicting accuracy and precision of the main lamb feeding systems (Agricultural and Food Research Council, Small Ruminant Nutritional System, National Research Council and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) and also two Brazilian studies. The DMI, CP intake (CPI), metabolizable energy (ME) intake and ADG increased when cactus was included up to 499 g/kg DM (P500 g/kg DM) had a decreased DMI, CPI and NDF intake, but increased feed efficiency (P
... Por ello, son necesarios recursos alternativos para sobrevivir a períodos críticos de escasez de alimento y agua (Véras et al., 2002). Tegegne et al. (2007) sugieren la utilización del nopal (Opuntia ficus indica Mill), por presentar características importantes de resistencia a la falta de agua, temperaturas elevadas, suelos pobres en nutrientes, pocos insumos energéticos y además de ser una planta de fácil manejo sus características nutritivas son favorables (Teixeira et al., 1999). ...
Article
En 45 ovinos machos Santa Inés (peso vivo medio de 27,50 ± 0, 48 kg) se evaluó el consumo de agua, al consumir raciones con niveles crecientes (0, 25, 50, 75, 100%) de nopal (Opuntia fícus indica Mill) en sustitución al maíz molido. El diseño fue en bloques al azar con nueve repeticiones. El consumo de materia seca respondió de modo cuadrático, perjudicando el peso final, que disminuyó, con el aumento del nopal en la dieta. Aumentó el consumo de materia natural disminuyendo el de agua, el consumo total de agua aumentó en el tratamiento con mayor cantidad de nopal. La relación de consumos: agua voluntaria/materia seca, disminuyó al aumentar el nopal. El nopal constituye una reserva de agua para ovinos Santa Inés en condiciones semiáridas de Brasil.
... This feature is very important for semiarid regions due to water scarcity. Other studies have also shown reductions in VWI in goats and sheep with the inclusion of forage cactus in the diet (Gebremariam et al., 2006;Tegegne et al., 2007;Vieira et al., 2008;Abidi et al., 2009;Costa et al., 2009Costa et al., , 2012. ...
Article
The objective of this study was to evaluate the intake of nutrients and water, digestibility, nitrogen balance, microbial protein synthesis, performance and blood parameters of lambs fed increasing levels (0, 150, 300 and 450 g/kg of DM basis) of fresh spineless cactus cv. Miúda (Nopalea cochenillifera Salm Dyck) included in the diet. Forty male (noncastrated) crossbred Santa Inês lambs, averaging 18.6 ± 2.8 kg body weight (BW) at the beginning of the study, were used in this trial. A completely randomized design was used, with ten replicates per treatment and initial BW as a covariate. Quadratic behaviour was observed for dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), total carbohydrates (TC) and metabolizable energy (ME) intake, with maximum values estimated with 242.9, 236.4, 229.2, 218.2, 238.2 and 284.5 g/kg of spineless cactus inclusion, respectively. Non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFC) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) intakes presented higher and lower values respectively in lambs fed 450 g/kg of spineless cactus. Voluntary water intake decreased with increasing quantities of spineless cactus, however, water intake from feed and total water intake increased. The digestibility of DM, OM, NFC and TC presented higher values with 450 g/kg of spineless cactus. Total weight gain and daily weight gain showed an increasing linear effect, while feed conversion decreased. Urine volume and microbial protein were higher for lambs fed 450 g/kg of spineless cactus, while urea excretion was lower. There was a quadratic effect on serum glucose and calcium levels with maximum values for inclusion of spineless cactus of 368.9 and 150 g/kg respectively, whereas ß-hydroxybutyrate and blood urea decreased linearly; phosphorus and magnesium concentrations increased, with lower and higher values in animals fed the highest levels of spineless cactus, respectively. The inclusion of spineless cactus by up to 450 g/kg of DM improves the microbial efficiency, nutrient utilization and the performance of the animals, without causing adverse effects on blood parameters.
... (Cactaceae), conhecida popularmente como palma forrageira, são utilizados na medicina popular por apresentar efeito antiulcerogênico, cicatrizante e diurético (GALATI et al., 2001, GALATI et al., 2002, TROMBETTA et al., 2006. Essa planta também representa uma importante fonte alternativa de alimento para animais (TEGEGNE et al., 2007). ...
... The increase in microbial protein synthesis indicates that all diets possessed degradable protein and fermentable carbohydrates in amounts sufficient to optimize microbial protein synthesis (Vieira et al. 2008). This fact demonstrates that feeding ruminants with spineless cactus-based diets require a protein source to enable the synthesis of satisfactory microbial protein (Misra et al. 2006;Tegegne et al. 2007;Pessoa et al. 2009). When evaluating the histomorphometry, ruminal of sheep, those fed with spineless cactus (34.8, 47.5 and 60%) demonstrated more developed ruminal papillae than those that did not receive fodder in the diet (Neiva et al. 2006). ...
Article
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the ruminal parameters (pH, N-NH3, and microbial protein) and morphometry of the rumen and intestine of sheep fed with a diet containing four different levels of the spineless cactus variety, Baiana. The experiment was conducted at the National Semi-Arid Institute in Campina Grande, PB, Brazil. A total of 40 male sheep submitted to the confinement regime were used in a completely randomized design with four treatments (0, 15, 30, and 45% dry matter basis) and ten replicates, with an initial body weight of 23.7 ± 3.08 kg. Experimental diets were composed of ground corn, soybean meal, urea, mineral supplement, limestone, Tifton 85 hay, and spineless cactus of the Baiana variety. The pH, ammonia nitrogen, and microbial protein were evaluated in the ruminal fluid, alongside the morphometric characteristics of the rumen and intestine. While the addition of the spineless cactus did not affect N-NH3, it caused a linear reduction in the ruminal pH following 4 h of feeding, and also increased the microbial protein. In addition, it stimulated a reduction in the height of the papillae and the muscle layer of the rumen, and induced the mucosal height in the intestine to increase. The addition of up to 30% of spineless cactus in the diet of sheep without a defined breed did not alter the N-NH3, pH, and ruminal histology, but it did increase the production of microbial protein and intestinal mucosa.
... animals were fed cactus pear without any other forage source (Tegegne et al., 2007). In this context, the addition of NDF from other forage sources in diets containing cactus pear could increase the physically effective dietary fiber and promote rumination by stimulated chewing activity, which maintains the flow of saliva and ruminal pH buffering (Branco et al., 2010;Li et al., 2014). ...
Article
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This study aimed to evaluate the effects of forage neutral detergent fiber (fNDF) levels on the voluntary feed intake, digestibility, ruminal fermentation and feeding behavior of goats fed diets with cactus pear. Five non‐lactating ruminally cannulated goats fed ad libitum were randomly assigned to a 5 × 5 Latin square design. Treatments consisted of levels of fNDF at 0, 109, 222, 339 and 463 g/kg of dry matter (DM) in cactus pear‐based diets. The intakes of DM and NDF were quadratically affected (p ≦ .045) by fNDF levels. Voluntary water intake (VWI) increased linearly as the fNDF levels increased in the diet. The digestibility coefficients of organic matter, NDF and ether extract and total digestible nutrients concentration were quadratically affected (p ≦ .048) by fNDF levels. The ruminal pH linearly increased (p = .001) with fNDF levels, ranging from 5.44 to 5.81 for diets containing 0 and 463 g fNDF/kg DM, respectively. The fNDF levels promoted a linear increase (p = .006) in chewing time, linearly decreased (p = .007) resting time and quadratically affected (p = .033) rumination time. The inclusion of fNDF in the diets provided favorable conditions for ruminal function, digestibility and feeding behavior in goats fed diets containing cactus pear.
... Results similar to those found in the present study were reported by Chekir et al. (2013), who evaluated the fermentation profile of silages based on cactus, milk whey and barley grains with different proportions of cactus and found an adequate fermentation pattern, with pH values within the adequate range and predominance of LAB. Tegegne et al. (2007) stated that cactus is rich in water and NFC and has elevated concentrations of pectin, which provide high fermentation rates and consequently a rapid release of soluble sugars, which are in turn efficiently used by the microbial groups, especially LAB. ...
Article
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This study was conducted to evaluate the fermentation pattern and the in situ dry matter degradability of silages in the form of diet. Five diets were formulated based on spineless cactus (Opuntia fícus-indica cv. ‘Gigante’) and buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris). The experimental design was completely randomised, with five treatments and three replicates in which the diets differed in the proportion of buffelgrass (0%, 15%, 25%, 30% and 35%, on a fresh matter basis). There was significant difference (p < 0.05) in the chemical composition of the diets, with all dry matter contents being within the ideal range. Ammonia-nitrogen content was not affected (p > 0.05). There were significant differences (p < 0.05) in dry matter recovery across diets, which ranged from 96.28% to 99.93%. The pH values decreased as the time of opening (days) was extended. Organic acid contents differed across all diets; however, overall, all diets showed satisfactory lactic acid contents. As the proportion of buffelgrass in the diets was increased, the degradability of dry matter decreased. Based on fermentation profile, losses and chemical composition the diet with higher proportion of spineless cactus can be recommended for silage production.
... This characteristic of low NDF and ADF concentrations is associated with high non-structural carbohydrate concentration, making the spineless cactus a valuable source of fermentable carbohydrates for ruminants. On average, cactus TC concentration ranged from 62 to 84 g/kg DM, while NFC range from 31 to 58 g/kg DM (Tegegne et al., 2007;Costa et al., 2013;Tosto et al., 2015). Results from the current study were within these ranges. ...
Article
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... Gebremariam et al. (2006) reported a 59% decrease in drinking water in lambs receiving a diet composed of 43% fresh cactus. In Ethiopia, lambs fed diet containing 55% fresh cactus stopped drinking water (Tegegne et al., 2007). Cactus plantations are, therefore, a promising option for alleviating drinking water scarcity in dry areas and during drought periods. ...
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... O uso da palma na dieta de ruminantes possui suas particularidades onde esse recurso alimentar deve estar associado a uma fonte de fibra. Diversas pesquisas demonstram sua importância e diferentes formas de utilização, assim para otimizar a utilização da palma forrageira na dieta de ruminantes é necessário ter conhecimento de suas características e da associação da palma com outros ingredientes alimentares promovendo condições adequadas de alimentação e melhorias no desempenho animal (TEGEGNE et al., 2007). ...
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Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) can survive extreme environmental condition and is known for its fodder potential in many parts of the world. The morphological diversity of 15 introduced accessions was evaluated at Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The plants were established in 2013. Survival and nutrient status were evaluated after two years. Above-ground plant height, biomass, primary and secondary cladode numbers, primary and secondary cladode lengths and below-ground root length, weight, and surface area measurements were done six years after cladode planting. Yellow San Cono, White Roccapalumba, and Seedless Roccapalumba survived 100%. The discriminant traits according to principal component analysis were: primary cladodes plant−1 (component loading, 0.87), primary cladodes biomass (0.95), secondary cladodes plant−1 (0.83), canopy width (0.84), and plant biomass (0.92). Hierarchical cluster analysis grouped 15 accessions into two main clusters based on 17 morphological traits. Cluster I showed favorable values for many above- and below-ground morphological traits while Cluster II showed higher performance for root system width, height, and biomass, and primary and secondary cladode numbers. The results indicate that cactus pear accessions have considerable morphological variability and genetic diversity suitable for promotion as alternative fodder resources in semi-arid regions of India
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We evaluated the effects of total water intake (TWI) deprivation and dietary supplementation with spineless cactus (Nopalea cochenillifera) cladodes on dry matter intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio and morphometric characteristics of rumen and intestinal tissues of Santa Inês sheep. Forty-two intact male Santa Inês sheep were used, with an average age of 100 ± 3 days and a body weight of 18.74 ± 2.05 kg. The animals were allocated to a completely randomised design in a 3 × 2 + 1 factorial arrangement with additional treatment of the control type, where (3) are cactus diets replacing Tifton-85 hay (30, 50 and 70% on dry matter (DM) basis) and (2) watering regimens (drinking water deprivation or ad libitum access to drinking water). The control treatment (1) contained 0% spineless cactus and had ad libitum access to drinking water). There was no interaction (P > 0.05) between spineless cactus inclusion and water deprivation on sheep performance. Water deprivation reduced (P < 0.001) TWI and increased (P < 0.001) the DMI/TWI ratio. It did not change slaughter body weight, total weight and ADG of sheep (P > 0.05). The spineless cactus inclusion quadratically increased (P ≤ 0.05) the DMI, slaughter body weight, ADG and feed efficiency. Contrary, TWI and DMI/TWI linearly decreased due to spineless cactus inclusion (P ≤ 0.05). Based on the means test, the DMI was higher at 30% inclusion level of cactus and decreased at 50 and 70%. There was no interaction (P > 0.05) between spineless cactus inclusion and drinking water deprivation for rumen papillae length, width and muscle thickness and intestinal mucosal height. The interaction between water and drinking water deprivation demonstrated that intestinal mucosal height (P ≤ 0.05) in the treatment with 50% inclusion was greater for the treatment with drinking water deprivation. A higher weight of the gastrointestinal tract was observed for the cactus substitution levels of 30 and 50%. The inclusion of 30% DM of spineless cactus replacing Tifton grass hay in sheep diet improved DMI, weight gain and feed conversion, regardless of the availability of drinking water. Drinking water deprivation in Santa Inês sheep receiving spineless cactus does not change the length and width of the ruminal papillae. However, sheep receiving spineless cactus increases the height of the intestinal papillae, irrespective of the inclusion level, because liquids facilitate the transportation of gastric contents, resulting in greater nutrient absorption.
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The effect of diets containing 0% of wheat bran levels (control buffel grass and cactus pear) contrasted with diets with cactus pear as the only forage source and wheat bran levels (30; 37 and 44%) on nutrient digestibility, feed intake, animal performance, carcass characteristics, and economic analysis was evaluated. Twenty-eight male, non-castrated crossbred lambs (22.6 ± 2.37 kg) were submitted to confinement for 62 days. A completely randomized design was used with four treatments and seven repetitions. Four diets were formulated considering an intended mean daily weight gain of 200 g/animal/day. Means were compared by contrasts using Dunnett test at 5%. Animals fed cactus pear as the only roughage source (diets with 30; 37, and 44% of wheat bran) had lower dry matter intake and nutrient intake, Average Dairy Gain, and total weight gain than animals fed the control diet. Final body weight and slaughter weight of animals fed 44% of wheat bran was similar to the animals fed the control diet. Hot and cold carcass yields were higher in animals fed cactus pear and 30 and 37% of wheat bran. Feeding costs were lower when cactus pear was used as the only roughage source associated with wheat bran and consequently profit was greater. The use of cactus pear as the only roughage source associated with up to 44% of wheat bran is a viable alternative of the diet to confined lambs without modifying carcass characteristics with greater cost:benefit ratio.
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The present study was conducted to evaluate the intake, digestibility and nitrogen balance of diets for finishing sheep, containing leucaena hay as a source of effective fibre and forage palm. Twenty‐one male sheep were used in a randomized block design with three treatments, represented by total diets, where the forage was leucaena hay and forage palm in natura in proportions 350:650, 450:550 and 550:450 g/kg respectively. For the pH and NH3‐N in the ruminal fluid, and urea in the blood serum, plots split in time were adopted. Dry matter and nutrient digestibility, and the nitrogen balance were not influenced (p > .05) by the diets. The neutral detergent fibre digestibility decreased (p < .05) as the proportions of leucaena hay in the diets increased. The pH and NH3‐N were suitable for ruminal fermentation, and blood urea was maintained under normal physiological conditions for sheep. Combining 350 to 550 g/kg of leucaena hay with 450 to 650 g/kg of forage palm in total diets with a forage:concentrate ratio of 60:40 in late‐maturing sheep meets the nutritional requirements for daily gain 200 g, characterizing leucaena hay as important source of effective fibre and nutrients in diets.
Chapter
This chapter describes the importance of cactus pear and cladodes as food and forage crop in the arid and semi-arid regions, its worldwide distribution and botanical features. The potential of cactus pear as food crop and the contribution of cactus pear fruits and cladodes in the human nutrition are highlighted. The possibilities of valorization of cactus pear to by-products, which enable high income for rural populations and the nutritional value of the fruits and young cladodes as food for human, are explained. The physiology of disease resistance in the fruits and cladodes has been discussed. The forage resources of the arid and semi-arid regions and the area of cactus pear used for animal feed in the world are presented. The physiology of disease resistance in the fruits and cladodes has been discussed. The forage resources of the arid and semi-arid regions and the area of cactus pear used for animal feed in the world are presented. The potential of cactus pear as fodder and the nutrients contents in the pads useful for animals are investigated. The possibilities of mixing pads with other fodders and food intakes developed for ruminants are suggested. The crude protein contents and minerals in the cactus pear pads have been studied in southern Morocco regarding their requirements by cows and sheep.
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The purpose of this study was to determine the chemical composition and gross energy of Opuntia cactus (Opuntia ficus indica). The chemical composition of the cactus in different years (1, 2 and 3 years) including Dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), Ash, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and gross energy (GE) in 3 replicates were determined using standard methods. The DM persentages were not significantly different between years (one, two and three years old cactuses, 96.90, 95.79 and 95.91%, respectively). The OM persentages of three years old cactus (68.45%) decreased significantly compared to the two years old cactus (72.20%) and one year old cactus (73.72%). The CP persentages (one, two and three years old cactuses, 5.21, 4.25 and 4.36%, respectively) and EE (one year old, two years old and three years old cactuses, 1.23, 1.39 and 1.16%, respectively) in different years did not show any significant differences. The NDF and ADF persentages of one, two and three years old cactuses (9.91, 14.97, 16.40 and 5.19, 8.27 and 10.84%, respectively) showed significant different. The GE content (cal/g) of one year old (2735.89) compared to the two years old (2896.36) and three years old (2192.45) were significantly different. Totally, the results showed that the CP content of cactus is to the extent wheat straw, due to the high gross energy content of cactus, this forage could be used as a source of energy for livestock in combination with low quality fodder, such as wheat straw.
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The effects of water and food restriction on feed utilization, body weight changes and nitrogen balance were investigated in Sudanese desert goats given high or low quality forage. Nine male goats were employed in a 3x3 Latin square design where they were subjected to three treatments: ad libitum water and feed, ad-libitum feed/restricted water, and ad libitum water/restricted feed. These treatments were repeated using lucerne or sorghum hay. For both feed types dry matter intake (DMI) was not affected by treatments. Water intake decreased with feed restriction in goats fed sorghum hay. The ratio of water intake to DMI increased with lucerne hay compared to sorghum hay in both the control and feed restricted group. Water consumption increased with lucerne compared to sorghum hay. Body weight losses were more pronounced with water than with feed restriction but were less severe with lucerne than sorghum hay. Interactions due to treatment and feed type were significant for water intake and body weight change. With lucerne hay, except for crude protein (CP), nutrient digestibility improved with water restriction. Feeding sorghum hay, there were no effects on digestibility except for crude protein (CP) that was reduced with water restriction. Crude fiber (CF) and nitrogen free extract (NFE) digestibility increased with feed restriction in animals on sorghum hay. For all groups, CP digestibility was better with lucerne than sorghum hay. Interactions of the main effects were significant for all apparent digestibility coefficients as well as total digestible nutrients. The treatments did not have significant effects on nitrogen balance, however, nitrogen intake, retained or excreted in faeces was higher with lucerne than sorghum hay. It may be concluded that subjecting animals to water or feed restriction will have a more deleterious effect on feed utilization and nitrogen balance when using a low than a high quality forage.
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The effects of spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. inermis) supply on digestion of wheat straw was studied n rumen cannulated sheep. In addition to urea (10 g) and mineral and vitamin mixture (30 g), the animals — received wheat straw alone or supplemented with graded levels of spineless cactus (150, 300, 450 or 600 g dry natter (DM) per head per day). The diets were studied in five successive 25-day periods from February to June 992 in Tunisia. "Water consumption, food intake, digestibility, diurnal variations of ruminal fermentation (pH, mmonia nitrogen, volatile fatty acids, protozoal concentrations in rumen fluid) and cellulolytic activity in the umen were measured.Spineless cactus had high contents of ash (260 g/kg DM) and water (926 g/kg fresh weight) and low neutral-detergent fibre content (185 g NDF per kg DM). Crude protein (CP) content of spineless cactus was 2-5 times reater than that of wheat straw (58 v. 23 g/kg DM, respectively). Drinking water consumption was substantially educed (P < 0·001) as the level of spineless cactus increased. When spineless cactus supply exceeded 300 g DM peray, sheep consumed practically no drinking water. The voluntary intake of straw increased significantly with vineless cactus level. Total diet apparent digesibilities of DM, organic matter and CP tended to increase with mneless cactus supply. Such increase was significant only with the 450 and 600 g levels of cactus. NDF and acidetergent-fibre apparent digestibilities were not affected by spineless cactus supply. Addition of spineless cactus up i 300 g DM significantly increased ruminal ammonia nitrogen (P< 0·001) but there was no additional effect with irther supplementation. When sheep were supplemented with spineless cactus, total rumen volatile fatty acid icreased and acetate: propionate ratio decreased significantly. Moreover, spineless cactus supply increased total wtozoa number and reduced significantly rumen cellulolytic activity measured as DM and NDF disappearance of heat straw from incubated nylon bags.
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Article
Prickly pear cactus [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.] and roughage (Cenchrus ciliaris)-based diets with (OCG) or without (OC) an organic N source supplement (50g groundnut meal) were compared to a roughage plus 200g concentrate (CC)-supplemented diet. Intake, nutrient utilization, rumen fermentation, excretion of urinary purine derivatives and microbial N supply in Malpura hoggets were assessed. Opuntia cladodes contained DM 218g/kg, CP 126g/kg, NDF 466g/kg and ash 172g/kg of DM. Dry matter intake through cladodes was 237–243g in opuntia-based diets. Dry matter intake was lowest (P
Article
The Cornell Net Carbohydrate Protein Model (Chalupa et al., 1991; Sniffen et al., 1992) has developed the need for uniform procedures to partition feed nitrogen into A, B, and C fractions (Pichard and Van Soest, 1977). While carbohydrate fractions are relatively standardized (based on NDF, ADF with corrections for ash, protein, and lignin), the fractionation of plant nitrogen has been open to considerable variation in procedures. This has led to non-uniformity among reported values for nitrogen fractions. This paper recommends reliable procedures for nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) and buffer-soluble protein. These procedures have been examined for reproducibility and relevance to biological expectations. Procedures for acid-detergent insoluble nitrogen (ADIN), and neutral-detergent insoluble nitrogen (NDIN) are also included as they are required for the model. Some alternatives in certain procedures are offered.
Article
The decade of the 1990s has seen a great expansion in national and international cooperative research and development on cactus, including plant physiology and orchard management, new Opuntia hybrids, descriptor list for Opuntias, intensive breeding and selection work on columnar and vine fruit cacti, new commercially available processed products of cactus pears and various major international symposia to integrate researchers and professionals of different fields worldwide. While a mixture of basic and applied research is still required in critical areas, the scientific database is now sufficiently mature to guide international development efforts. Based on our experiences, this paper suggests priorities for basic and applied research of scientists from different fields.
Article
A method is proposed for estimating the percentage of dietary protein that is degraded by microbial action in the rumen when protein supplement is added to a specified ration. The potential degradability, p , is measured by incubating the supplement in artificial-fibre bags in the rumen and is related to incubation time, t , by the equation p = a+b (1 – e -ct ). The rate constant k , measuring the passage of the supplement from the rumen to the abomasum, is obtained in a separate experiment in which the supplement is combined with a chromium marker which renders it completely indigestible. The effective percentage degradation, p , of the supplement, allowing for rate of passage, is shown to be p = a +[ bc/(c+k) ] (1- e -(e+k)t ) by time, t , after feeding. As t increases, this tends to the asymptotic value a+bc /( c+k ), which therefore provides an estimate of the degradability of the protein supplement under the specified feeding conditions. The method is illustrated by results obtained with soya-bean meal fed as a supplement to a dried-grass diet for sheep. The incubation measurements showed that 89% of the soya-bean protein disappeared within 24 h and indicated that it was all ultimately degradable with this diet. When the dried grass was given at a restricted level of feeding the allowance for time of retention in the rumen reduced the estimate of final degradability to 71% (69% within 24 h). With ad libitum feeding there was a faster rate of passage and the final degradability was estimated to be 66% (65% within 24 h).
Article
The nutritive value of prickly pear cactus (Opuntiaspp.) was assessed on 18 adult rams divided into three equal groups fed either (i)Cenchrus ciliarishay to appetite plus 200 g concentrate (G1), (ii) chopped cactus andCenchrus ciliaris(G2), and (iii) chopped cactus andSorghum helepense(G3in a cafeteria system.Opuntia-fed groups G2and G3consumed 6·31 and 4·21 kg fresh cactus daily, amounting to 79 and 54% of dry matter intake, respectively. The cactus-fed G2and G3consumed less (p<0·01) drinking water. Digestibility of dry matter, organic matter and crude protein, and nutritive value were higher (p<0·01) in G1and G3than G2. G1animals maintained weight and those in G2and G3lost weight. It is concluded thatOpuntiais highly palatable and dry conserved fodder can sustain sheep during scarcity.
Article
First of all spineless Opuntia is an important source of water for livestock in tropical regions. The water content of one-year sprouts amounted to 92.5%. 70 to 75% of dry matter of Opuntia ficus indica were crude carbohydrates, approximately 20% were crude ash. The apparent digestibility of organic matter was considerably high (70.9%), the energy content amounts to 35 and 467 EFUc per kg of fresh and dry matter respectively. Opuntias are roughage, their energy content is similar to that of grass or legumes during flowering. The protein content is too low (4.5 to 5.5% crude protein of dry matter) in order to meet the protein requirements of animals. When they had the choice rams preferred chopped fresh Opuntia (61.6% of the whole DM intake) to chopped dried Opuntia (34.7%) and whole fresh Opuntia (3.7%) apart from a certain basal diet (200 g of meadow hay and 200 g of concentrate per animal and day). If only one of the three differently treated forms of Opuntia was fed (apart from the basal diet) the sheep consumed daily 359 g of dry matter of chopped fresh Opuntia (approximately the same amount as if they had the choice, 101%), 313 g of dry matter of chopped dried Opuntia (88%) and 121 g of dry matter of whole fresh sprouts of Opuntia (34% of the total intake when they had the choice.) According to the obtained results spineless Opuntia ficus indica can be used in chopped form as an additional feed to other roughages (like grass, hay, straw) especially during the dry season.
Article
The pads (nopales) of the prickly pear cactus are considered to be a good source of minerals and other nutrients on the basis of compositional analysis. In this study, this analysis is taken a step further by assessing the availability of selected minerals in nopales using an in vitro digestion and dialysis method. The results obtained suggest that although nopales are enriched in a number of minerals, their tissue calcium is not freely available. Microscopic analysis, energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis, and oxalate measurements suggest that this reduction in available calcium is a result of its sequestration in the form of calcium oxalate crystals. The issue of mineral availability in plant foods is important when the dependence of many populations around the world on plant foods as their main source of minerals and other nutrients is considered.
Production and use of Opuntia as forage in northern Mexico
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Diversification of livestock assets for risk management in the Borana pastoral system of Southern Ethiopia
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Spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica var-intermis) as a supplement for treated straw
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