Utilization of Mucuna pruriens whole pods to feed lactating hair ewes

  • Irina Nadieska Peniche-Gonzalez
  • Luis Armando Sarmiento-Franco
  • Ronald Herve Santos-Ricalde
Regular Articles


Twenty nine Pelibuey × Katahdin hair ewes rearing single lamb were used during 42 days of lactation to evaluate the effect of including the Mucuna pruriens whole pods in the diets of lactating ewes on milk production and offspring performance. Animals were distributed at random into three experimental diets: a control diet without Mucuna (M0), and two more diets with the inclusion of 13 (M13) and 26% (M26), of milled pods of Mucuna pruriens, respectively. Dry matter intake, was not significantly different (P > 0.05) among diets. Milk yield (P > 0.05) was 734, 786, and 694 g/day for diets M0, M13, and M26, respectively. Milk fat (P > 0.05), milk protein (P > 0.05), and milk lactose (P > 0.05) did not differ between treatments. Lambs had similar daily weight gain (P > 0.05) among diets (180, 174, and 171 g/day for diets M0, M13, and M26, respectively). Diets with Mucuna whole pods were 5.6 and 12.9% more profitable (M13 and M26, respectively) than control diet. Under the conditions of this work, Mucuna pruriens whole pods can be included up to 26% in the diets of lactating crossbred hair ewes without negatively affecting their productive performance during the first 6 weeks of lactation.


Lactation Legumes Performance Sheep Velvet bean 



The authors thank to the field staff from the Animal Nutrition Department, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan for their support in the field work of this study. The first author acknowledges the PhD scholarships received from the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD-Germany) and the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACyT-Mexico).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y ZootecniaUniversidad Autónoma de YucatánMéridaMexico

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