Cuajilote, fruit, feeding, sheep, in vitro.
Objective: to review previous researches about the use of the fruits of the cuajilote tree (Parmentiera aculeata) as ovine feed.
Design/Methodology/Approach: this research was conducted, using all the available sources: science articles, conference reports, and books.
Results: P. aculeata (cuajilote) is generally used to provide shade, and as live fence, wood or firewood. However, it can also be used as forage. Both the foliage and the fruit have excellent nutritional qualities; additionally, the fruits are available during the dry season and free grazing cattle avidly eat them. Nevertheless, the nutritional value and the ruminal availability of this fruit’s dry matter—during various ripeness stages— are unknown; it is also said to have medicinal properties.
Study Limitations and Implications: the cuajilote fruit was used in in vitro tests to remove protozoa from the ruminal fluid of bovines (defanuation); therefore, there are few in vitro researches about the use of cuajilote in a wholemeal diet as animal feed and about its maximum inclusion tolerance in ruminants.
Findings/Conclusions: as a result of its nutritional and medicinal benefits, the cuajilote fruit shows great potential as livestock feed. Additionally, it is available all year round, particularly during the dry season, when production expenses increase as a result of the lack of other food sources.