Asia / Feeds / FFD / ILRI / Livestock / LIVESTOCK-FISH / Pakistan / Small Ruminants / South Asia

Potential of cactus as drought feed for small ruminants in Pakistan

Cactus based feed ration for the improved small ruminants productivity in Chakwal District

Cactus based feed ration for the improved small ruminants productivity in Chakwal District

Under the AIP-Livestock project (ILRI-ICARDA), cactus was introduced to farmers in the dry areas of Chakwal and its adaptation was tested and its value as animal feed was evaluated.

Three supplemental feeds were formulated based on available fodder such as oat, lucerne and spineless cactus, to assess the productivity of small ruminants. The four categories of animals (ewes/does/lambs/kids) belonging to four farmers were used in a farmer participatory trial. The animals grazed for 5-6 hours daily on rangeland followed by 2 kg/head/day supplemental mixed feed rations including oat, cactus and lucerne in the evening. However, animals in the control group (D) were maintained on 6-8 hours daily grazing only, as per farmers’ practice.

The trial lasted 60 days. Ewes that were fed oat- and lucerne-based supplemental feed showed similar high live-weight gain (67 g/day) followed by those fed cactus-based supplemental feed (33 g/day). However, the daily

live-weight gain (g/day) of kids fed oat- and Lucerne-based rations was 100 g, followed by kids fed cactus-based feed. The lambs/kids on grazing only showed lower live-weight gain (33-50 g/day). We concluded that cactus can be used as an alternate feed when other green fodder is not available.

Source: AIP Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 2, April-June 2016 (a newsletter of the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan). AIP-Livestock is led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in partnership with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). For feedback and queries, contact Ibrahim Mohammed (ILRI):

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s