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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cattle Grazeing Velvet Lupine (Lupinus Leucophyllus): Influence of Associated Forages, Alkaloid Levels and Population Cycles

Authors
item Ralphs, Michael
item Panter, Kip
item Gay, Clive - WSU
item Motteram, Ernie - WSU
item Lee, Stephen

Submitted to: Poisonous Plant Global Research and Solutions
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 31, 2006
Publication Date: June 20, 2007
Repository URL: http://www.pprl.ars.usd.gov
Citation: Ralphs, M.H., Panter, K.E., Gay, C., Motteram, E., Lee, S.T. 2007. Cattle grazeing velvet lupine (lupinus leucophyllus): influence of associated forages, alkaloid levels and population cycles. Poisonous Plant Global Research and Solutions, Chpt. 67, pp. 401-406

Interpretive Summary: Certain lupines (Lupinus spp.) contain alkaloids that cause contracture-type skeletal birth defects and cleft palate “crooked calf syndrome” if the pregnant cow consumes them during the 40 - 70th day of gestation. The objective of this study was to determine when cattle graze velvet lupine (Lupinus leucophyllus Dougi.) and whether this period overlaps the critical period of gestation. Lupine was not very palatable and was only selected when cheatgrass, dried and other forbs matured in July and August. Lupine consumption occurred during the critical period of gestation in 2 of the 3 years, but no crooked calves were produced. The density of lupine plants declined over the study. Concentration of the teratogenic alkaloid anagyrine declined as seeds shattered from pods, which corresponded to the time cattle begin eating lupine.

Technical Abstract: Certain lupines (Lupinus spp.) contain alkaloids that cause contracture-type skeletal birth defects and cleft palate (“Crooked calf syndrome”) if the pregnant cow consumes them during the 40 – 70th day of gestation. The objective of this study was to determine when cattle graze velvet lupine (Lupinus leucophyllus Dougl.) and whether this period overlaps the critical period of gestation. The grazing studies where conducted in 2001, 2002 and 2003 in the same 100 ha pasture in eastern Washington. In 2001 the amount of lupine consumed was compared between 2 groups of cows: 1) five cows with crooked calves at their side; 2) six cows with normal calves. There was no difference in the amount of lupine consumed between groups (P = 0.15), and all cows consumed some lupine. In 2002, ten cows (different from those used in 2001) with normal calves were used, and in 2003, eight of the same cows from the 2002 study with normal calves were used. In all three years cows started consuming lupine in July and August after cheatgrass dried and annual forbs matured. Peak consumption ranged from 7 to 24% of bites. Lupine is a deep rooted perennial which remained green and succulent longer into the summer than the associated forages. Lupine consumption occurred during the critical period of gestation in 2 of the 3 years, but no crooked calves were produced. The density of lupine plants declined over the study. Concentration of the teratogenic alkaloid anagyrine declined as seeds shattered from pods, which corresponded to the time cattle began eating lupine

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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