Replacement of Sorghum with (Cactus opuntia) in the Diets of Tahami Lambs in Yemen Arid Zones

Abed M. Al-Bial*(1) Ahmed Abdullah(2) and Elham Soltan(3)

(1). Agriculture Research and Extension Authority (AREA), Zammar, Yemen.

(2). Agricultural Institute in Surdood, Hodeidah, Yemen.

(3). Social Fund of Development, Hodeidah, Yemen.

(*Corresponding Author: Dr. Abed M. Al-Bial. E-mail:

Received: 10/11/2017                                Accepted: 04/02/2018


This study was conducted at two locations (Al-Gron and Al-Sumrah) in Hodeidah province during the period of 15/1-30/4/2014, to study the possibility of using cactus as a source of fodder and for sheep feed in the arid zones. The trial included 18 Tahami lambs at same age (3-4 months) and weight (13±0.33 Kg/lamb), which randomly distributed into three feeding treatments i.e. (T1) lambs were fed on a concentrated fodder (12%) in a ratio of 2% of live weight in addition of chopped sorghum, (T2) lambs fed on same concentrated fodder with a mixture of sorghum and cactus treated thermally and mechanically by 50:50, (T3) lambs fed on same concentrated fodder with the addition of treated cactus thermally and mechanically. The results indicated that cactus treated thermally and mechanically was palatable for lambs, and there were no significant differences (P>0.05) in the average of daily growth and final weight of lambs for all feeding treatments. The final weight of lambs were 20.05±0.87, 19.70±0.90, 19.33±0.78 kg/head for T1, T2 and T3, respectively. Feed intake and feed conversion efficiency for the lambs fed with the cactus (T3) was less than other treatments (T1 and T2). The findings of the study also revealed a decrease in the production cost of one kilogram of meat from the economical view with a rate of 27.08% for the cactus compared with sorghum (traditional fodders). The study concluded that there is a possibility for using cactus as a fodder available for feeding sheep instead of sorghum in the arid zones, especially during drought and scarcity of fodder, on the other hand reducing cactus spread in the agricultural areas.

Key Words: Arid zones, Cactus opuntia, Sorghum, Tahami Sheep, Yemen.

Full Paper in Arabic: PDF