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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #307936

Title: Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of Lesquerella fendleri seed and oils as poultry feed additives

item Beier, Ross
item Kubena, Leon
item McReynolds, Jackson
item Byrd Ii, James - Allen
item Hume, Michael
item Evangelista, Roque
item Isbell, Terry
item Dierig, David

Submitted to: Clear Blue Knowledge
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/6/2014
Publication Date: 8/8/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Beier, R.C., Kubena, L.F., McReynolds, J.L., Byrd II, J.A., Hume, M.E., Evangelista, R.L., Isbell, T., Dierig, D.A. 2014. Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of Lesquerella fendleri seed and oils as poultry feed additives. Clear Blue Knowledge. p. 1-10.

Interpretive Summary: The desert plant lesquerella or “bladder pod” grows throughout the Southwestern Region of the United States. Its seed contains high quality protein and unusual oils that have many industrial applications. We examined the possible use of the seed and seed-oil as feed supplements in the diets of chickens. Dehulled seed gave favorable results, providing feed conversion values nearly equaling those of the controls. We also found that adding seed and seed-oil to chicken feed does not help reduce colonization of the chicken by bacteria that cause foodborne disease. If the seed protein can be separated from the seed oil, cellulosic material and seed coat, the protein is likely to be a nutritious material that can be added to poultry feed. Our results could have economic impact for the U.S. Desert Southwest Region by encouraging further development of farming methods and industrial processing of the bladder pod plant.

Technical Abstract: Lesquerella (Lesquerella fendleri (Gray) Wats) is an oil seed plant capable of growth over a large geographic area of the southwestern U.S. The seed oil contains hydroxyfatty acids, useful in a variety of industrial products, and can replace imported castor bean oil (Ricinus communis L.). Lesquerella is also rich in high-quality protein with a well-balanced amino acid composition. We investigated the potential of using lesquerella as an ingredient in poultry feed. An increase from 5% to 20% whole lesquerella seed supplemented diet resulted in a negative linear effect on poultry weight gain at P < 0.001, and had no effect on recoverable Salmonella from the ceca of Salmonella challenged chicks. Lesquerella oil supplementation of feed reduced weight gain of the chicks, P < 0.0058, and also did not reduce Salmonella in challenged birds. However, there was no difference in weight gain between control birds and those receiving 2.5% or 5% dehulled lesquerella seed. A small increase in feed conversion was observed, 2.35 +/- 0.05 for controls, 2.47 +/- 0.10 for the 2.5% dehulled lesquerella seed group, and 2.53 +/- 0.15 for birds receiving 5% dehulled lesquerella seed. There appears to be no toxicity associated with dehulled lesquerella seed. We hypothesize that utilization of Lesquerella fendleri dehulled seed, after further processing to remove the excess cellulosic materials and valuable oils, will be an additional protein product useful as a poultry feed component, and could therefore add to the economic value of the plant.