Fruits and leaves are palatable to sheep, goats and cattle (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 or reproduction and needs supplementation with protein and energy feeds such as alfafa hay and wheat bran (Zelada, 1986).
In cattle, feeding tamarugo may result in a loss of appetite due to mineral deficiency. Supplementation with vitamins A, D and E is required in calves and pregnant animals (Zelada, 1986).
Tamarugo can support maintenance requirements of sheep under free grazing, in spite of a low dry matter digestibility (50%). Mineral (Co, Fe, Ca, Mg, P) and vitamin A supplementation is required (Göhl, 1982). Sheep prefer fruits to leaves (FAO, 2009). Free grazing leads to better production results (Lanino, 1966 cited by Habit et al., 1981).