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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of experience and lactation on lupine consumption by cattle

Authors
item Pfister, James
item Lee, Stephen
item Panter, Kip
item Motteram, E - WSU
item Gay, C - WSU

Submitted to: Poisonous Plant Global Research and Solutions
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 31, 2006
Publication Date: June 20, 2007
Citation: Pfister, J.A., Lee, S.T., Panter, K.E., Motteram, E.S., Gay, C.C. 2007. Effects of experience and lactation on lupine consumption by cattle. Poisonous Plants Global Research and Solutions, Chpt. 68, pp. 407 - 410.

Interpretive Summary: Pregnant cattle that ingest lupine (Lupinus spp.) during early gestation often give birth to deformed calves (i.e., crooked calf disease). There is no information available on the effects of lactation or experience on consumption of lupine (Lupinus leucophyllus) by cattle. Two grazing studies using non-pregnant cows were conducted in the Channel Scablands of eastern Washington during 2003-2004. Diets were determined by bite counts. During the first trial, cattle searched for green grass until this component was depleted, then ate some lupine and increasing amounts of dry grasses. During the second trial, cattle ate substantial quantities of lupine even though other forage was abundant and lupine was a relatively minor forage component. Scabland rangelands provide low quality nutritional choices for cattle.

Technical Abstract: Two grazing studies using non-pregnant cows were conducted in the Channel Scablands of eastern Washington during 2003-2004. Six cows naïve to lupine and 6 cows with several years experience grazing lupine-infested rangelands were grazed together for 25 days. Diets were determined by bite counts. Lupine density was <1 plant/m2 in the 6.6 ha study pasture. There was no difference (P>0.5) in consumption of lupine by naïve and experienced cows. Cattle ate little lupine during the first 10 days, then consumption increased to 10-14% of daily bites. Cattle began eating lupine as availability of green grass decreased. Consumption of dry grass increased markedly in the last 7 days, peaking at over 50% of the diets. In the second study, 12 lactating and non-lactating cows (n=6) were grazed together for 19 days on a 2.4 ha pasture divided into 2 paddocks. This pasture was a very productive swale with abundant forage (> 2000 kg/ha). Lupine density varied from 1-2 plants/m2. Cattle began eating lupine on day 4 and consumption generally increased until day 9 when lupine availability was depleted. There was no difference (P>0.6) in consumption between lactating and dry cows. Lupine consumption peaked at 10-15% of the diets. Cattle were then switched to the next paddock and grazed for 9 days until lupine was depleted. Cattle ate mostly grasses on the first day after switching paddocks, and then lupine consumption averaged 5015% of diets during the remainder of the trial. Other forbs comprised the majority (60-70%) of the diets, and consumption of dry grass varied from ~10-20% of the diets. During the first trial, cattle searched for green grass until this component was depleted, then ate some lupine and increasing amounts of dry grasses. During the second trial, cattle ate substantial quantities of lupine even though other forage was abundant and lupine was a relatively minor forage component. Scabland rangelands provide low quality nutritional choices for cattle. Lupines contain > 12% crude protein and generally nutritionally superior to other forage choices, even green forbs. Even small amounts of lupine in cattle diets can provide necessary N for ruminal function. It is not known if

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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