Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317178

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Crude protein supplementation to reduce lupine consumption by pregnant cattle in the scablands of eastern Washington.

Author
item Pfister, James
item Panter, Kip
item Lee, Stephen
item MOTERRAM, E - Washington State University

Submitted to: International Journal of Poisonous Plant Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2014
Publication Date: 12/1/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62592
Citation: Pfister, J.A., Panter, K.E., Lee, S.T., Moterram, E. 2014. Crude protein supplementation to reduce lupine consumption by pregnant cattle in the scablands of eastern Washington. International Journal of Poisonous Plant Research. 3(1):26-32.

Interpretive Summary: Lupinus leucophyllus (velvet lupine) is prevalent in eastern Washington, and when consumed by pregnant cows, can cause “crooked calf disease.” Rangelands in this region are dominated by poor quality annual grasses. The objective of this study was to determine if feeding supplemental crude protein (CP) would reduce cattle consumption of velvet lupine during mid-summer. Twelve pregnant cows were divided into 2 treatments: 6 controls with no supplement, and 6 cows in the supplement group, given 44% soybean meal at 4 g/kg body weight per day for 19 days in July, 2010. Lupine density was > 10 plants/m2. There was no supplement effect on lupine consumption. Supplemented cattle took about 7 % of daily bites as lupine compared to 5.0 of bites for control cattle. Dry grass and dry forbs were the major diet components selected by cattle. Cattle ate mostly dry grass during the first 8 days of the trial, then consumption of dry forbs increased substantially. Cattle switched from green forbs to lupine in their diets after about 1 week; this change coincided with a decrease in green forb biomass. Five calves from both treatments were born with mild to moderate birth defects. We conclude that CP supplementation had no effect on cattle consumption of lupine under these supplement and abundant forage conditions. The combined effect of supplementation and drought (i.e., forage scarcity) on lupine consumption by cattle has not been determined.

Technical Abstract: Lupinus leucophyllus (velvet lupine) is prevalent in eastern Washington, and when consumed by pregnant cows, can cause “crooked calf disease.” Rangelands in this region are dominated by poor quality annual grasses. The objective of this study was to determine if feeding supplemental crude protein (CP) would reduce cattle consumption of velvet lupine during mid-summer. Twelve pregnant cows were divided into 2 treatments: 6 controls with no supplement, and 6 cows in the supplement group, given 44% soybean meal at 4 g/kg body weight per day for 19 days in July, 2010. Lupine density was > 10 plants/m2. There was no supplement effect on lupine consumption (P = 0.68) nor was there a day x supplement interaction (P = 0.88). Supplemented cattle took 6.9 ± 0.7 % of daily bites as lupine compared to 5.0 ± 0.6 % of bites for controls. Dry grass and dry forbs were the major diet components selected by cattle. Cattle ate mostly dry grass during the first 8 days of the trial, then consumption of dry forbs increased substantially. Cattle switched from green forbs to lupine in their diets after about 1 week; this change coincided with a decrease in green forb biomass. Five calves from both treatments were born with mild to moderate birth defects. We conclude that CP supplementation had no effect on cattle consumption of lupine under these supplement and abundant forage conditions. The combined effect of supplementation and drought (i.e., forage scarcity) on lupine consumption by cattle has not been determined.