Gonzales, Irina Peniche


Tel.:  +52 (999) 9423200
Fax:  +52 (999) 9423205



Universidad Autonoma De Yucatan


PhD Project Title

Sheep integration to the “Milpa” system as a strategy for improving the food availability of families in the South of Yucatán, Mexico.

Abstract of PhD Thesis

Sheep are one of the most widely distributed species among the world, as they are highly capable to adapt a great variety of environments (Combellas, 1980b). In tropical and subtropical regions feeding of sheep is based mainly on native and induced low quality forages, which become scarce during the dry season restraining animal production (Matenga et al., 2003; Macedo and Castellanos et al.,  2004; Ruiz-Sesma, 2006; Vite-Cristóbal et al.,  2007; Duarte, 2007; Chay et al.,  2011).

To address seasonality in animal production, sheep producers have used concentrates to obtain better production rates. However, the increasing usage of cereals and protein meals by the biofuels industry is making these feedstuffs more expensive and unavailable. This situation increases the production costs and promotes competition between human and animal feeding, hence limiting the use of concentrates by smallholders (Sanchez, 2000).

Therefore, local alternative feedstuffs need to be evaluated in order to reduce dependence on the use of concentrates for animal production and at the same time to lower production costs. Legumes have the ability to integrate sustainable production system, improving the quality of diets for animal in tropical conditions, consequently they help to increase production rates and reduce costs (Mahecha, 2002).

Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean) has been extensively evaluated for animal production because of its nutritional potential, above all the seeds of this legume have a high content (27 a 38.4 %) of crude protein (Ayala et al., 2003; Ezeagu et al., 2003; Sandoval-Castro et al., 2003; Adebowale et al., 2005; Siddhuraju and Becker, 2005; Chikagwa-Malunga et al., 2009a).

Recently, Galván et al. (2011) proved that the inclusion of whole Mucuna pod in the diet of growing lambs promotes a better productive performance on tropical conditions. Accordingly, the integral utilization of Mucuna could become an interesting alternative for the smallholders; since they usually harvest it at the beginning of the dry season when it is necessary the utilization of high cost concentrates due to fodder shortage (Castillo et al., 2003).

The inclusion of M. pruriens in sheep diets has been evaluated mainly on growing lambs (Ayala et al., 2003; Ezeagu et al., 2003; Sandoval-Castro et al., 2000; Adebowale et al., 2005; Siddhuraju and Becker, 2005; Chikagwa-Malunga et al., 2009a). However, it could be useful to employ M. pruriens in adult ewes diet, which define the productive performance of the system (Ferrel and Jenkins 1984), remain more time in the herd and their higher nutritional requirements are directly related with feed costs. Therefore, in the present study the effect of including Mucuna pruriens (whole fruit) in diets of gestating and lactating ewes on their productive performance will be evaluated.


  • Luis Sarmiento Franco
  • Ronald Santos Ricalde

Research Interest

Animal production, agricultural sciences, non-conventional sources for animal feeding, sustainable development

Educational Background


Master in Animal Production (Animal Nutrition)
Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan, Mexico


Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine
Universidad de Cordoba, Colombia

Professional Experiences

Jul - Dec 2011

Head of the Production Department, Veterinary Medicine Faculty
Universidad del Tolima and the Fundacion Universitaria San Martin
Monteria, Cordoba, Colombia.

Feb 2010 - Dec 2011

Lecturer, Veterinary Medicine Faculty
Fundacion Universitaria San Martin
Monteria, Cordoba, Colombia

Sep - Nov 2009

Lecturer, Veterinary Medicine Faculty
Fundacion Universitaria San Martin
Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia.

Jan - Jun 2007

Internship, University of Tropical Agriculture (UTA- Foundation)
Guapota, Santander del Sur, Colombia

Jul 2005 - Dec 2006

Experimental Station Manager, Veterinary Medicine Faculty
Fundacion Universitaria San Martin
Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia

Dec 2004 - Jun 2005

Cattle Ranch Assistant
Montelibano, Cordoba, Colombia.

Apr - Sep 2002

Student internship, Corporacion Colombiana de Investigacion Agropecuaria (CORPOICA)
Monteria, Cordoba, Colombia

Awards / Scholarships


PhD Scholarship from the International Center for Development and Decent Work (funded by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD)


Master Scholarship from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT)


Indexed journal publication:

  • 2009. Nutritive value for pigs of New Cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium); digestibility and nitrogen balance with different proportions of fresh leaves and soybean meal in a basal diet of sugar cane juice. Livestock Research for Rural Development 21 (1). (link)
  • 2006. Histologic evaluation of tissue repair post-partial palectomy equine. Revista MVZ Cordoba. Vol. 11 (2), Jul-Dec; 855-859 (link)


  • 2009. Productive and reproductive performance of grazing dual purpose cows with or without access to Leucaena leucocephala in the tropics. Ruminant Physiology (book series). ISBN: 978-90-8686-119-4 pages 770 – 771
  • 2001. Digestibility and nitrogen balance in growing pigs fed a diet of sugar cane juice and fresh leaves of New Cocoyam (Xanthosomasa gittifolium) as partial or complete replacement for soybean protein. Proceedings of Workshop-Seminar on Forages for Pigs and Rabbits. Cambodia.


  • 2010. Ingestive behavior, dry matter intake and indexes of nitrogen metabolism in dual purpose cows in association of Leucaena leucocephala/Cynodon nlemfuensis. Third Congress on Tropical Animal. Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.
  • 2010. Dry matter intake, ingestive behaviour and indexes of nitrogen metabolism in dual purpose cows grazing Stargrass with or without access to an association of Leucaena leucocephala. National Meeting on Research and Innovation Agri-Food and Forestry in Mexico. San Francisco de Campeche. Mexico.


  • Peniche-Gonzalez I., Sarmiento-Franco L and Santos R. Estimation of milk production in hairy ewes by two methods of measurement. In: XVII International Congress of Sheep Production. 23-25 October 2013. Acapulco, Guerrero, México.