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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: LIVESTOCK LOSSES FROM ABORTIFACIENT AND TERATOGENIC PLANTS

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Cattle preference for forage kochia, crested wheatgrass, and velvet lupine

Authors
item Ralphs, Michael
item Waldron, Blair
item Panter, Kip

Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 3, 2011
Publication Date: May 2, 2011
Citation: Ralphs, M.H., Waldron, B.L., Panter, K.E. 2011. Cattle preference for forage kochia, crested wheatgrass, and velvet lupine. Professional Animal Scientist. 27:215-218.

Interpretive Summary: Alkaloids in velvet lupine cause a crooked calf syndrome if the dam consumes the plant between day 40 to 100 of gestation. Planting an alternative forage that is more palatable than velvet lupine may reduce the risk of crooked calves. The objective of this study was to determine the preference of Immigrant and Otavny-select forage kochia, with crested wheatgrass and velvet lupine in feeding trials. Crested wheatgrass and Immigrant forage kochia were preferred in the preference feeding trials. There was no difference in preference between Otavny-select and velvet lupine. Immigrant forage kochia and crested wheatgrass will be selected to evaluate their establishment and palatability in subsequent seeding and field scale palatability trials in the scabland region of eastern Washington.

Technical Abstract: Alkaloids in velvet lupine (Lupinus leucophyllis Dougl. ex Lindl) cause a crooked calf syndrome if the dam consumes the plant between day 40 to 100 of gestation. In spring calving operations, this coincides with late summer when annual grasses are mature and senescent in the Scabland Region of eastern Washington. Velvet lupine is the only green-growing forb during this period on the annual grasslands and is readily consumed. Planting an alternative forage that is more palatable than velvet lupine may reduce the risk of crooked calves. Preference trials were conducted to compare the palatability of two varieties of forage kochia; Immigrant (Kochia prostrata ssp. Virescens), and Otavny-select (K. prostrata ssp. grisea), with crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum [Fisch. Ex Link] Schultes) and velvet lupine. Preferences were ranked by sequential Latin squares. The first trial consisted of four 4 x 4 Latin squares: 4 forages, 4 heifers, 4 days, and 4 feed locations. The most preferred forage was then removed and preference for the remaining forages was evaluated in a 3 x 3 Latin square. The two trials were repeated using 4 new heifers. Crested wheatgrass was preferred in the first trial, but the Immigrant forage kochia replaced it as most preferred feed in the second set of trials. There was no difference in preference between Otavny-select and velvet lupine. Immigrant forage kochia and crested wheatgrass will be selected to evaluate their establishment and palatability in subsequent seeding and field scale palatability trials in the scabland region of eastern Washington.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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