An Economic and Nutritional Evaluation of Pricklypear as an Emergency Forage Supplement

Armando Correa, Donald M. Nixon, Charles Russel


This investigative research centered on the comparison of supplemental feeding of pricklypear as opposed to conventional hay feeding during drought conditions. Nutritive values of four commonly used supplemental hays were compared to those of pricklypear. Costs of supplementing pricklypear in relation to fuel consumption, protein supplementation, and maintenance of machinery were obtained from ranchers throughout South Texas who have fed pear to their range cattle in the past. Pricklypear supplementation was found to be a rather inexpensive means of feeding and maintaining range cattle during drought conditions up to 60% less than typical hay feeding programs. This was regardless of weather conditions and month of the year. Pricklypear was found to have extremely low nutritive values as compared to the hay varieties studied.


pricklypear; supplementation

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