Short-term Intake of Mesquite Beans Affects Ruminal pH but not Intake by Cattle and Goats
Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) beans provide ruminants a food source high in sugars and carbohydrates. Although nutritious, mesquite beans may induce acidosis. Two studies were completed in 2019 to assess the effect of mesquite bean consumption on rumen pH and intake. In the first study, 5 cows were fed a basal diet with 0, 20, and 40% of their diet in mesquite beans over a period of 28 days. As the amount of mesquite beans in the diet increased, rumen pH levels decreased. Rumen pH reached levels near 5, but cows apparently did not experience acidosis; all cattle continued to consumed mesquite beans and the basal diet, regardless of the amount of mesquite beans consumed. In the second study, 22 yearling nanny goats were placed in individual pens. All goats were fed 300, 500, and 700 g of mesquite beans each per day in addition to alfalfa pellets (2.5% BW) to meet maintenance requirements. Eleven goats received water was with 2% sodium bicarbonate to attenuate acidosis while 11 goats received water without additional sodium bicarbonate. Goats that received sodium bicarbonate consumed less mesquite beans indicating that goats did not experience acidosis at the levels fed in this study.