Unripe green pods are bitter, of little value and potentially toxic to sheep and goats. The ripe pods or beans drop between June and November and are an excellent feed rich in sugar. In some countries the seeds are ground into meal for use in concentrate rations for all classes of livestock. Kiln-dried pods ground into a meal are far superior to air-dried chopped pods (Göhl, 1982).
In the desert conditions of the Pampa del Tamarugal in Northern Chile, sheep, goats and cattle are fed with the leaves and pods of planted and natural stands of Prosopis tamarugo and Prosopis chilensis. This forage alone cannot support growth and reproduction and must be supplemented with protein and energy feeds such as alfalfa hay and wheat bran, with added vitamins (Zelada, 1986).
In Sudan, Prosopis chilensis pods can be an adequate maintenance ration for goats and sheep, particularly during the long dry season when feed is scarce. It is not advisable to feed sheep exclusively on Prosopis chilensis pods beyond a period of 13 weeks. It is usual for loss in weight to occur in the dry season (March-July) and although feeding solely on P. chilensis for a period shorter than 13 weeks will result in some weight loss, it can sustain the animals during this period. For livestock fattening, pods should be supplemented with a source of energy and protein (Gabar, 1988).
The relatively high protein content of the seeds suggests that they may be useful as a protein supplement to poor grass, especially if crushed (Gabar, 1988).
The leaves are grazed to some extent, but are a less important fodder than the pods (Göhl, 1982). The green leaves are unpalatable to all domestic animals except camels and they can be toxic to sheep and goats (Gabar, 1988).
The 48 h in situ degradability of Prosopis chilensis leaves is low (34%) (Rossi et al., 2005). The digestibility of fresh Prosopis chilensis loppings was lower than that of Prosopis cineraria and a Prosopis cinerara x Prosopis juliflora hybrid (Khirwar et al., 2003).