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Management Practices to Reduce Lupine-Induced Crooked Calf Syndrome in the Northwest

Kip E. Panter, Clive C. Gay, Roy Clinesmith, Tom E. Platt
Rangelands 2013 v.35 no.2 pp. 12-16
Lupinus, breeding, calves, cattle diseases, chemical analysis, chemical constituents of plants, climate, cows, forage, grazing, grazing management, growing season, heifers, legume protein, legumes, nutrients, pastures, plant identification, plant poisoning, pods, poisonous plants, population density, pregnancy, rangelands, risk, risk assessment, sheep, sheep diseases, stocker cattle, toxins, weather
Lupines are legumes and may provide a source of protein and other nutrients late in the growing season. However, toxins are concentrated in the pods and will poison animals, especially sheep, if gluttonous consumption occurs. Risk of lupine-induced crooked calf syndrome depends on multiple factors including lupine population density, availability of other quality forages, weather/climate patterns, breeding schedules, stage of pregnancy, grazing management strategies, and others. Using stockers, open heifers, or other livestock species to graze lupine-infested pastures is one way to utilize high-risk rangelands. Do not over-graze as animals may be poisoned if forced to subsist on lupines. Identify lupines and obtain a chemical analysis for risk assessment on rangelands before turning pregnant cows out. Plant samples may be submitted to the USDA–Agricultural Research Service Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory for identification, chemical analysis, and a follow-up risk assessment at no charge. Contact kip.panter@ars.usda.gov.