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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Forage Availability and Body Condition on Intake of Lupine (Lupinus Leucophyllus) by Grazing Cattle

Authors
item Ortiz, Sylvia - UNIVERSITY OF VERACRUZ
item Pfister, James
item Launchbaugh, Karen - UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
item Gay, Clive - WASHINGTON STATE UNIV.

Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2007
Publication Date: October 5, 2007
Repository URL: http://www.pprl.ars.usda.gov
Citation: Ortiz, S.L., Pfister, J.A., Launchbaugh, K.L., Gay, C.C. 2007. Forage availability and body condition on intake of lupine (lupinus leucophyllus) by grazing cattle. Professional Animal Scientist, Vol.23, No. 5 (2007):459-466

Interpretive Summary: Lupine species are an important group of plants native to North America with a number of species that are toxic to sheep and cattle. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of body condition and the relationship of forage availability with the consumption of lupine by grazing cattle. Five cows in low (LBC) and four in high body condition (HBC) grazed a common pasture with abundant velvet lupine (Lupinus leucophyllus) during an 18-day period. Bite counts of lupine, and other forages were recorded daily. Cows in LBC and HBC began ingesting lupine on days 1 and 4, respectively. The rate of increase in number of bites to a maximum was similar between treatment groups. The overall intake of lupine, however, was different between treatments. Cows in low body condition ate greater amounts of lupine compared to cows in high body condition (3.2 vs. 2.5 mean bites/min), and for a longer time period (13 vs. 8 days after initiating lupine consumption). Biomass of lupine, forbs, sedges, annual and perennial grasses was estimated six times throughout the 18-d trial. As forbs and annual grasses disappeared from the pasture, cattle ate more lupine. Results suggest that all animals in a herd are likely to ingest lupine regardless of their nutritional status, and that animals in low body condition will ingest larger quantities of lupine for longer periods of time than will cattle in high body condition.

Technical Abstract: The genus Lupinus is an important group of plants native to North America with a number of species that are toxic to sheep and cattle. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of body condition and the relationship of forage availability with the consumption of lupine (Lupinus spp.) by grazing cattle. Five cows in low (LBC) and four in high body condition (HBC) grazed a common pasture with abundant velvet lupine (Lupinus leucophyllus Dougl. ex Lindl.) during an 18-day period. Bite counts of lupine, and other forages were recorded daily. Cows in LBC and HBC began ingesting lupine on days 1 and 4, respectively. The rate of increase in number of bites to a maximum was similar (P>0.20) between treatment groups. The overall intake of lupine, however, was different between treatments (P < 0.001). LBC cows ingested greater amounts of lupine compared to HBC cows (3.2 vs. 2.5 mean bites/min), and for a longer time period (13 vs. 8 days after initiating lupine consumption). Biomass of lupine, forbs, sedges, annual and perennial grasses was estimated six times throughout the 18-d trial. Forb and annual grass biomass depletion was associated with increased ingestion of lupine (P < 0.001). Results suggest that all animals in a herd are likely to ingest lupine regardless of their nutritional status, and that animals in LBC will ingest larger quantities of lupine for longer periods of time.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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