Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; 264
Title: Stiffs or sweeny (phosphorus deficiency) in cattle
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026387/00001
 Material Information
Title: Stiffs or sweeny (phosphorus deficiency) in cattle
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 27 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Becker, R. B ( Raymond Brown ), 1892-1989
Neal, W. M ( Wayne Miller ), 1905-
Shealy, A. L
York, Gus
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1933
 Subjects
Subject: Phosphorus in animal nutrition   ( lcsh )
Deficiency diseases in domestic animals   ( lcsh )
Cattle -- Diseases -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 27.
Statement of Responsibility: R.B. Becker, W.M. Neal and A.L. Shealy ; with the cooperation of Gus York.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026387
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000924125
oclc - 18206626
notis - AEN4731
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida







December, 1933


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
Wilmon Newell, Director


STIFFS OR SWEENY

(PHOSPHORUS DEFICIENCY)

IN CATTLE

R. B. BECKER, W. M. NEAL and A. L. SHEALY,
Animal Husbandry Department, Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station,
with the cooperation of
Gus YORK, County Agent,
University of Florida Agricultural Extension Service.


FIG. 1.-A typical pose of a range cow when chewing oyster shells, bones
and similar substances.


Bulletins will be sent free upon application to the
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


Bulletin 264









EXECUTIVE STAFF

John J. Tigert, M.A., LL.D., President of the
University
Wilmon Newell, D.Sc., Director
H. Harold Hume, M.S., Asst. Dir., Research
Harold Mowry, B.S.A., Asst. Dir., Adm.
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor
R. M. Fulghum, B.S.A., Assistant Editor
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian
Ruby Newhall, Administrative Manager
K. H. Graham, Business Manager
Rachel McQuarrie, Accountant


MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE

AGRONOMY
W. E. Stokes, M.S., Agronomist*
W. A. Leukel, Ph.D., Agronomist
G. E. Ritchey, M.S.A., Associate*
Fred H. Hull, M.S., Associate
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate
John P. Camp, M.S., Assistant
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
A. L. Shealy, D.V.M., Animal Husbandman**
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Specialist in Dairy Hus-
bandry
W. M. Neal, Ph.D., Associate in Animal Nutri-
tion
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M., Assistant Veterinarian
W. W. Henley, B.S.A., Assistant Animal Hus-
bandman
P. T. Dix Arnold, B.S.A., Assistant in Dairy In-
vestigations
CHEMISTRY AND SOILS
R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Chemist**
R. M. Barnette, Ph.D.. Chemist
C. E. Bell, Ph.D., Associate
J. M. Coleman, M.S., Assistant
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant
H. W. Jones, M.S., Assistant

ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL
C. V. Noble, Ph.D., Agricultural Economist"
Bruce McKinley, A.B., B.S.A., Associate
M. A. Brooker, Ph.D., Associate
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Assistant

ECONOMICS, HOME
Ouida Davis Abbott, Ph.D., Specialist*
L. W. Gaddum, Ph.D., Biochemist
C. F. Ahmann, Ph.D., Physiologist

ENTOMOLOGY
I R. Watson, A.M., Entomologist**
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Associate
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A, Assistant

HORTICULTURE
A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Horticulturist"
M. R. Ensign, M.S., Associate
A. L. Stahl, Ph.D., Associate
G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Pecan Culturist
Roy J. Wilmot, M.S.A., Specialist, Fumigation
Research
R. D. Dickey, Assistant Horticulturist

PLANT PATHOLOGY
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist**
George F. Weber, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
R. K. Voorhees, M.S., Assistant
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist
*In cooperation with U.S.D.A.
**Head of Department.


BOARD OF CONTROL

Geo. H. Baldwin, Chairman, Jacksonville
A. H. Blanding, Bartow
A. H. Wagg, West Palm Beach
Oliver J. Semmes, Pensacola
Harry C. Duncan, Tavares
J. T. Diamond, Secretary, Tallahassee


BRANCH STATIONS

NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist in Charge
R. R. Kincaid, M.S., Asst. Plant Pathologist
J. D. Warner, M.S., Associate Agronomist
R. M. Crown, B.S.A., Assistant Agronomist
Jesse Reeves, Farm Superintendent

CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED
John H. Jefferies, Superintendent
Geo. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Associate Plant Pathol-
ogist
W. A. Kuntz, A.M., Associate Plant Pathologist
B. R. Fudge, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
W. L. Thompson, B.S., Assistant Entomologist

EVERGLADES STATION, BELLE GLADE
A. Daane, Ph.D., Agronomist in Charge
R. N. Lobdell, M.S., Entomologist
F. D. Stevens, B.S., Sugarcane Agronomist
G. R. Townsend, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Pathologist
B. A. Bourne, Ph.D., Sugarcane Physiologist
J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Biochemist
R. W. Kidder, B.S., Asst. Animal Husbandman
Ross E. Robertson, B.S., Assistant Chemist

.SUB-TROPICAL STATION, HOMESTEAD
H. S. Wolfe, Ph.D., Horticulturist in Charge
W. M. Fifield, M.S., Assistant Horticulturist
Stacy O. Hawkins, M.A., Assistant Plant
Pathologist



FIELD STATIONS

Leesburg
M. N. Walker, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist in
Charge
W. B. Shippy, Ph.D., Associate Plant Pathol-
ogist
K. W. Loucks, M.S., Asst. Plant Pathologist
J. W. Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Entomologist
C. C. Goff, M.S., Assistant Entomologist

Plant City
A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
R. E. Nolen, M.S.A., Asst. Plant Pathologist

Cocoa
A. S. Rhoads, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist

Hastings
A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Pathologist

Monticello
Assistant Entomologist

Bradenton
David G. Kelbert, Asst. Plant Pathologist

Sanford
E. R. Purvis, Ph.D., Assistant Chemist, Celery
Investigations










STIFFS OR SWEENY (PHOSPHORUS DEFICIENCY)
IN CATTLE
R. B. BECKER, W. M. NEAL and A. L. SHEALY
CONTENTS
Page
In production ......................................................................... 3
State ent of P problem ................................................................ 3
Review of Literature .................................. ............................... 5
Plan of Investigation ................................................................ 5
Presentation of Experimental Records.................................................. 6
Composition of forage from healthy and affected ranges ......................... 6
The field survey ............................................................... 9
A utopsies of affected cattle .................................................... 10
Effects upon the skeleton ....................................................... 14
Cooperative field and feeding work.............................................. 15
Analyses of the blood plasma of healthy and stiff cattle........................... 20
Sum m ary and Conclusions ............................ .............................. 24
Acknow ledgem ents ...................................................... ............ 26
R eferences Cited ........... ....... ......... ........ .......... .. 27

INTRODUCTION

Cattle long restricted upon the native forages grown on any
fenced pasture area reflect in their physical condition and per-
formance the nutritive value of the forages and the fertility of
the soil. For this reason, many areas such as the bluegrass
region in Kentucky and parts of the British Isles have become
famous for their livestock. Conversely, livestock are less thrifty
and productive when confined to other ranges the soils of which
contain a smaller supply of the nutrient elements. On every
continent, areas of the latter nature are found. Several such
areas are known in the United States.
Under extreme shortages of certain of the mineral elements
cattle and other livestock exhibit symptoms indicative of the
deficiencies. A craving for objects not considered as feed under
normal circumstances is one of the most common symptoms
noted. Persons living on soil areas of this kind, however, often
become so accustomed to seeing livestock eat or chew on such
objects as bones or oyster shells that they consider it normal
rather than unusual.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Cattle on certain ranges in Florida frequently are observed
chewing bones, oyster shells, wood, leather or old shoes, and even
limerock. (See Fig. 1.) Such cattle lose condition and are less
thrifty. Some are stiff, lame, or "sweenied," and a few become






Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


crippled permanently. (See Figs. 2, 4, 8 and 11.) In addition
to the ones that die directly from this condition, others are weak-
ened to the extent that they are susceptible to disease, and so
are lost through secondary causes. The cows give less milk.
Many of their calves are stunted and weak, and so have less
chance to come through the winter in even fair condition on the
open range.


















FIG. 2.-A typical advanced case of sweeny or stiffs in a cow on phosphorus
deficient range. Note the stiffness and thin condition of this cow. Her
bones were depleted to such an extent that the thirteenth rib was
broken in a casual examination of its flexibility.

The nutritional anemia called salt sick occurs among cattle on
parts, but not on all, of the ranges where sweeny is found. In
fact, cattle affected with salt sick frequently recover when moved
to ranges where cattle become stiff, and chew bones and oyster
shells. There are some few places where both conditions are
found to occur on the same range.
The soil types on the ranges where cattle chew bones are cer-
tain of the clay soils of the lower Appalachian mountain region,
soils of the flatlands more distant from the flood plains of rivers
that drain more fertile areas, and the muck and lighter sandy
soils of the coastal plains. The annual rainfall is quite high
(55-60 inches), which tends to leach out the soluble minerals
from the surface soils. Cattle do not suffer from this trouble







Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


in the phosphate-producing areas, nor in the yellow sandhills, the
soils of which are fair in their phosphate content.
This condition among cattle was called to the attention of the
Florida Experiment Station during the summer of 1930. A
study of its cause and practical means of prevention was com-
menced shortly afterward.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Cattle have been reported to chew bones, leather, soft woods
and other objects on areas shown to be phosphorus-deficient in
Michigan(8),1 Minnesota(5), Montana(18, 20, 21), Texas(17),
and Wisconsin(7). Cary(4) has mentioned the condition in a
part of Alabama. Stiffness and loss of condition are further
indications of deficiencies in these areas.
The content of inorganic phosphorus in the blood plasma of
affected cattle commonly becomes depressed from a normal of 4.5
to 5.0 milligrams per 100 cubic centimeters, down to as low as
1.40 milligrams as has been observed in Minnesota(14, 15). Sim-
ilar physical conditions among cattle have been reported in parts
of north central Europe(12, 16), Norway and Sweden(19), Union
of South Africa and Kenya Colony(13), and islands in the south
Pacific(2). In all of these areas, cattle have recovered and re-
currence of the condition has been prevented when affected ani-
mals were supplied continuously with finely ground feeding bone-
meal. Soils of these areas, and consequently the forages grown
on them, contained too limited amounts of phosphorus. Appli-
cations of phosphatic fertilizers to the pasture and crop lands
have been reported to alleviate the condition. Much of the litera-
ture bearing on such a condition has been reviewed previously by
the senior author(5).
PLAN OF INVESTIGATION
With the cooperation of members of the Cattlemen's Associa-
tion (of western Florida), cattle showing both typical and extreme
symptoms of the condition were observed on farm pastures and
on the open range. Many experienced cattlemen contributed their
observations concerning descriptions of the condition, classes of
cattle affected, management of the cattle, seasonal incidence, and
the ranges on which the condition is encountered.
'Numbers in parentheses (Italic) refer to Literature Cited in the back
of this bulletin.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


Autopsies were conducted on five cows showing the condition;
one mild, two chronic and two acute cases. These were observed
particularly for typical symptoms, condition of the skeleton and
internal organs, foreign matter in the stomach, and parasitic
infestation. Blood samples were taken from certain of these
cases. Because of the frequent presence of internal parasites in
cattle on parts of the areas involved, a vermifuge2 was admin-
istered to some animals.
Upon the premise that sweeny or stiffs in cattle was caused by
a deficiency of one or more of the mineral elements in the forages
growing on these ranges, a cooperative feeding trial was started
with one small farm herd late in 1931, by allowing the cattle to
have free access to bonemeal. Blood samples were obtained from
82 animals during the spring round-up of 1932, and inorganic
phosphorus in the plasma was determined. Representative range
herds on the flatlands, and farm and semi-range herds on the
clay lands, were included.
The use of bonemeal was extended to other herds during 1932,
in view of the marked improvement shown in the first herd.
Observations were continued, and blood samples were obtained
during the 1933 round-up. Whenever possible, blood samples
were obtained from the same animals as in 1932. Sufficient addi-
tional samples were secured to represent the individual herds.
Samples of forage were collected on both healthy and affected
ranges. Proximate analyses of forages were made by the meth-
ods of the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists(1), cal-
cium, magnesium and phosphorus by the method of Morris,
Nelson and Palmer(10), and iron by a modification of Kennedy's
method(9). Inorganic plasma phosphorus was determined by
the method of Fiske and Subbarow(6).

PRESENTATION OF EXPERIMENTAL RECORDS
COMPOSITION OF FORAGE FROM HEALTHY AND AFFECTED
RANGES
During the field survey, samples of wiregrass (Aristida sp.)
were collected from ranges on which cattle chew bones and oyster
shells as well as from ranges in the yellow sandhills area upon
which cattle neither show depraved appetite nor become stiff or

"Four ounces of copper sulfate and four ounces of snuff to three gallons
of water. Six ounces as a drench for mature animals, younger animals in
proportion. Used for stomach and tapeworms.








TABLE I.-COMPOSITION OF WIREGRASS* ON RANGES STUDIED IN THE INVESTIGATION OF SWEENY OR STIFFS IN CATTLE.


Source of sample


Range used
by Herd Number


Composition on the dry matter basis


Crude Crude Nitrogen-free Ether Total Calcium
protein fiber extract extract ash (Ca)

percent er ercentcent ent percent percent


Magnesium
(Mg)

percent


Phosphorus Iron
(P) (Fe)

percent percent


Care of
range




burned . .
burned. .....
burned. .. ..
unburned ..
unburned ........ .
unburned. .. .
(flats) burned .. .
(flats) burned.........

burned... .... ..
unburned. ....... .


burned ..... ......
burned ........... ..
burned. .. .. .
burned. .......... ...
burned .. .. .
burned ....... ..
burned .... .
burned. .. .. ...


11.21
9.90
9.00
7.56
8.68
7.75
7.99
10.68


34.52 47.54
34.48 50.20
34.37 51.55
35.32 52.19
32.89 52.45
34.76 52.89
34.60 51.89
34.70 48.12


4.71
3.70
3.28
3.32
3.67
2.99
3.90
4.69


.161
.192
.185
.194
.184
.176
.182
.177


.194 .0331
.127 .0351
.145 .0162
.107 .0107
.110 .0193
.105 .0385
.110 .0406
.168 .0292


Average: burned ......... .. 9.10 34.45 50.85 1.82 3.78 .181 .457 .133 .0278
SAMPLES FROM OTHER AREAS
Salt sick ranges, burned ......... ... .140 .100 .144 .0194
Salt sick ranges, unburned..... .114 .086 .102 .0155
Non-salt sick ranges, burned.... . ..181 .122 .169 .0240
Non-salt sick ranges, unburned..... .... .190 .108 .170 .0209
Grasses from areas outside of Florida (18)
Bone-chewing areas, 67 analyses.. .377. 1 103 .
Non-bone-chewing areas, 14 analyses ...... .....353 ...167


*Wiregrass (Aristida sp.) samples were collected on April 26-30, 1932.


Samples from affected ranges
8.66 34.90 49.37 1.48 5.59 0.224 0.335 0.083 0.0279
7.75 36.13 49.91 1.40 4.81 .249 .368 .089 .0179
7.04 34.45 53.67 1.52 3.32 .189 .302 .086 .0185
3.45 33.82 58.35 1.38 3.00 .174 .133 .035 .0142
3.35 35.85 55.42 1.30 4.08 .253 .320 .043 .0089
3.40 35.70 55.48 1.38 4.04 .226 .334 .037 .0180
6.06 35.35 52.14 1.40 5.05 .227 .295 .062 .0191
9.07 35.38 49.72 1.68 4.15 .145 .400 .092 .0291

7.72 35.22 50.96 1.50 4.58 .207 .340 .082 .0225
3.40 35.12 56.42 1.35 3.71 .218 .262 .038 .0137
Samples from healthy ranges


1
2
3
3
6
6
15

Averages:







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


sweenied. These samples were collected at the same time (April
26-30, 1932), so as to avoid differences in composition due to
rainfall and season of the year. As the dead grass had been burned
during the preceding winter on the majority of the ranges, 13
samples were from burned areas and only three from unburned
areas. These samples were analyzed for the separate mineral
constituents as well as for the usual proximate determinations.
The composition of these samples is presented in Table I.
It is interesting to note that the samples from the affected
areas contained less than two-thirds as much phosphorus as did
those from the healthy ranges. There was not a marked differ-
ence in the calcium content, although the samples from the
affected ranges were slightly higher in this element. The mag-
nesium content was higher in the samples from the healthy range,
but in both cases the amount was much higher than in another
series of samples(11) gathered at a similar growth stage on other
areas in Florida upon which cattle seldom show depraved appe-
tite. This is corroborative of analyses of grasses assembled from
the literature by Scott(18). Sixty-seven samples from areas
where cattle chew bones contained 0.377 percent of calcium and
0.103 percent of phosphorus, in contrast to 14 samples from
healthy ranges which contained 0.353 percent of calcium and
0.167 percent of phosphorus. These data give further support
to the belief that phosphorus is the deficient element on these
ranges where cattle chew bones.
It must be remembered that the mineral content of forages
decreases with advancing maturity(11), so that the deficiency
would become more pronounced later in the season. This is in
agreement with cattlemen's statements that the trouble is most
prevalent in the late summer, although part of the high incidence
at that season also may be due to the fact that many cows have
nursed calves since spring, and so have depleted their reserves
of phosphorus to a greater extent.
Cattlemen also state that feeding corn or cottonseed meal tends
to alleviate the condition. Corn has a negligible amount of
calcium (0.01-0.02%) but does contain about 0.31 percent of phos-
phorus. Cottonseed meal is typical of the oil-seed by-products
with its 1.16 percent of phosphorus. This is further evidence of
phosphorus being the limiting factor.
Part of the samples of wiregrass were close to marginal, and
two were sub-marginal in iron content. The samples with the








Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


lower iron content were collected on open range where cattle
graze over extensive areas. Such wide grazing enables them to
be on soils with a higher iron content for at least a part of each
year so that they do not suffer from a deficiency of that element.

THE FIELD SURVEY
Statements of cattlemen, verified by observations of cattle on
the open range and in fenced pastures, have given the following
picture of the condition known locally as sweeny or stiffs in cattle.
Cattle moved from healthy areas onto these ranges show no
indications of stiffness for the first six months or year. Then
they react in the same manner as do the local cattle. Some of
them become thin, apparently from loss of fat rather than from
atrophy of the muscles. The condition differs from nutritional
anemia in this respect. None of the animals are anemic except
when heavily parasitized, or when restricted to ranges on white
or gray sandy flatlands, typical of some salt sick ranges.
Affected animals become stiff in the joints, some even creak
when walking so that the sound can be heard for a distance of
20 feet or more. The shoulder blades scapulaee) may become
bowed out, giving a "sweenied" appearance to the animal. Cattle
have been observed that were crippled permanently, as verified
by post-mortem examination. The hair has a dry, harsh appear-
ance, and the animals do not shed until late in the season. Many
animals not showing acute symptoms appear to lack thrift.
The condition is observed more frequently in the late summer,
and more often during dry seasons. Cows in milk, especially
first-calf heifers, and young cattle soon after being weaned, are
affected more often than are dry cows, bulls, and steers past two
years old. Cows show improvement soon after being turned dry,
since the drain of mineral elements by the udder in the production
of milk is discontinued. It is common practice to wean the calves
at three to four months of age, especially from the first-calf
heifers, to prevent loss of the cows by death. The stunting of
the calves by this practice is considered to be less of a loss than
the loss of the cows. The relationship of lactation to this con-
dition will be considered in detail in studies of the blood. (See
Table III.)
Cottonseed meal or corn often is fed to the weaker cattle to
supplement the feed on the range. Recovery is generally more
rapid on cottonseed meal supplement than on corn. In parts of







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


the region, affected cattle are moved from the clay lands or the
flatlands onto the local sandhills where they recover. Cattle
grazing continuously on these yellow sandhill ranges remain in
good condition even though the forage is scant, and grazing over
wider areas is required to secure sufficient feed. The subsoil of
the yellow sandhills is also a yellow sand. Low grade phosphate
deposits are said to occur over a part of this healthy area.
The condition of the skeleton as shown by bowed bones and
stiff joints, depraved appetite as shown by chewing on bones,
oyster shells, and leather, and the accentuation of the condition
by the demands of lactation, all point to a deficiency of one of the
constituents of bones and milk.

AUTOPSIES OF AFFECTED CATTLE
During the summer of 1931 a three-year-old cow suckling her
second calf was found down and with little probability of recov-
ery. On autopsy, she was found to be heavily infested with hook-
worms. A quantity of oyster shells, stones, broken porcelain, a
41/2-inch piece of cannon bone, three teeth, pieces of inner tube,


FIG. 3.-The material found in the stomach of Cow No. 1 included this
display of oyster shells, 6 pieces of porcelain, 3 teeth, a 4 /-inch section
of cannon bone, inner tube, tire casing, 8 pieces of metal and 11
pebbles. (Photo by Harold Mowry.)







Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


tire casing, and fragments of metal were found in the paunch and
honeycomb compartments of the stomach. (See Fig. 3.) An
examination of the skeleton showed the shaft bones to be thin
walled and weakened.
Later in that summer, a first-calf heifer was found down. A
few stomach worms were found but not in significant numbers.
Foreign matter in the stomach consisted of fragments of shell
and pieces of oak and persimmon wood. A multiple fracture of
the right scapula was the cause of her being down. Extremely
poor ossification of the skeletal tissues, as typified by a longitu-
dinal section of the humerus, is shown in Fig. 6. After she went
down, this cow was removed to a shelter and fed concentrates
for several days prior to the autopsy. The blood sample taken
shortly before slaughter contained 3.33 milligrams of inorganic
phosphorus per 100 cubic centimeters of plasma.
Two cows showing less advanced stages of stiffs or sweeny
were obtained during the summer of 1932. A first-calf grade
Shorthorn had become very poor and weak while suckling her
calf. To save the heifer, her three-months-old calf had been
weaned and she had been placed in a field of cultivated crops.
Ten days after the calf was weaned and the cow had begun to
show symptoms of recovery, a blood sample was taken which
contained 3.85 milligrams of inorganic phosphorus per 100 cubic
centimeters of plasma. Upon autopsy at that time, it was noted
that no bones had actually broken, although they had thin walls
and showed depletion of the stored mineral matter. Neither
parasites nor indications of parasitic injury were noted. The
stomach contained fragments of oyster shell, a shoe upper, and
brads such as are used in attaching rubber heels.
A seven- or eight-year-old cow had suffered severely from
sweeny or stiffs following the next to the last calving. She was
said to have recovered, but remained permanently crippled in the
right shoulder. She was suckling a 41/2-months-old calf at the
time of autopsy. It was found upon examination of the right
shoulder that the articular surfaces of the scapula and humerus
were eroded extremely. (See Figs. 4 and 5.) The head of the
humerus had crushed in at one point, making an opening into the
marrow cavity. The intertuberal groove between the articular
surface and the lateral tuberosity had been eroded and roughened.
The photograph of these articular surfaces, as shown in Fig. 5,
illustrates the severity of this condition. The blood plasma con-








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


FIG. 4.-This cow suffered from an advanced case of sweeny, and became
permanently crippled during that time. Note the prominence of the
right shoulder. Distortion of the scapula often gives an appearance
of atrophy to the muscles back of the shoulder, to which the name
"sweeny" is applied locally.


FIG. 5.-The crippled cow shown in Figure 4 was found upon autopsy to
have eroded and weakened the articular surfaces of the scapula and
humerus at the shoulder joint so greatly that there was a cavity into
the red marrow zone of the humerus penetrating to the marrow cavity.








TABLE II.-CASE RECORDS OF CATTLE AUTOPSIED IN THE STUDY OF STIFFS OR SWEENY.


C ase ....................

Date of autopsy..........

Management. ...........




Condition ...............


No. 1

August 7, 1931

3 year old range cow,
suckling 6 months calf.
On clay range.



Down; advanced case.


No. 2

August 29, 1931

Range heifer suck-
ling first calf. Re-
ceived some concen-
trates during the last
week.

Down with fracture
of scapula. Bones
had thin walls. Ad-
vanced case.


No. 3

July 26, 1932

2 year old range cow,
Shorthorn, with calf
recently weaned. On
clay pasture.


Improving since 3
months old calf was
weaned in order to
save cow.


No. 4

July 26, 1932

7 year old range cow
suckling 4Y2 months
old calf. On clay
range.


Right shoulder crip-
pled from wear and
break of articular
surfaces.


No. 5

November 18, 1932

Range cow suckling,
3y months old calf.
On flatlands.



Thin and weak. Mild
case.


Milligrams inorganic phos-
phorus per 100 cc. blood
plasma................ .... 3.33


Foreign bodies in stomach.


Parasites................


Oyster shells, a cannon
bone, horse teeth,
pieces of inner tube and
tire casing, pebbles and
other foreign matter.


Oak and persimmon
wood, oyster shell
fragments.


Fragments of oyster
shell, leather shoe
upper and shoe nails.


Numerous hookworms. Some stomach worms. Nonefound.


Rag, inner tube,
small fragments of
oyster shell, shoe
nails and pieces of
metal.

None found.


Few fragments of
shell, shoe nails and
fragments of metal
shoe eyelets.


None found.*


*This cow had been drenched with copper sulfate and snuff at four bi-weekly intervals. Parasitic injury was observed,
but the parasites apparently had been removed by the treatment.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


trained 2.00 milligrams of inorganic phosphorus per 100 cubic
centimeters. No parasites were found in either stomach or intes-
tines. Fragments of oyster shell, a rag, shoe nails, and pieces
of other metal were found in the stomach.
During the fall of 1932, a cow showing mild symptoms of stiffs
got into a bog, and was bitten in the brisket by a poisonous snake
(probably a water moccasin). The animal was down with no
chance of recovery. Post-mortem examination verified the snake
bite. A few fragments of oyster shell, some shoe nails and eye-
lets were found in the stomach. No blood sample was taken,
nor was the skeleton examined in detail. She was in a herd of
cattle that was known to have been heavily parasitized as shown
by fecal examination. The vermifuge of copper sulfate and snuff
had been administered at four bi-weekly intervals. There was
evidence of stomach worm injury, but no parasites were found
in either stomach or intestines.
In view of these post-mortem findings, and the degree of im-
provement shown by parasitized cattle on one area after treat-
ment with a drench of copper sulfate and snuff, there was reason
to question the relationship between parasites and the condition
known as stiffs or sweeny in cattle, as well as to study the cause
and prevention of the latter. A summary of the post-mortem
findings of the five cases is shown in Table II.

EFFECT UPON THE SKELETON

Examination of bones scattered about killing pens and on the
ranges showed them to have thin shaft walls and less than normal
calcification of the ends of long bones. Vertebrae could be sawed,
cut with a knife, or broken more easily than is the case with bones
of cattle slaughtered in other areas. The ribs are very flexible
and easily broken. The thirteenth rib of the cow shown in Fig. 2
was broken while making a casual examination of the animal.
Upon autopsy of Cow No. 1, previously mentioned, the dorsal
border of the scapula was found to be more cartilaginous (less
ossified) than normal for a two-year-old animal. Both scapulae
were bent, giving the animal a sweenied appearance, and one was
found to have a multiple fracture. The articular surface was
eroded. The humerus, when sectioned, showed a thin shaft wall,
poor calcification at the epiphysis or growth line, and fewer trabe-
culae than normal. Gross examination showed the bone to be
porous and weak. A photograph of this section, together with







Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


one humerus of another cow that had received adequate amounts
of calcium and phosphorus for a number of years, is shown in
Fig. 6.


FIG. 6.-A section of the humerus (left) taken from a first-calf heifer
found down on pasture with a compound fracture of the scapula. This
bone is compared with the humerus (right) taken from a mature cow
that had rations adequate in calcium and phosphorus for the last four
years.

The crippled cow shown in Fig. 4 was found upon autopsy to
have eroded and weakened the shoulder joint (scapular-humerus
articular surfaces) so greatly that there was a cavity into the
marrow cavity of the humerus. This is shown in Fig. 5. Several
cows with broken hips were observed on the ranges where bone-
chewing is common.
COOPERATIVE FIELD AND FEEDING WORK
One farm herd having several head of chronically stiff cattle
was selected for the beginning of the cooperative work. This







Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


herd had been drenched twice during the preceding year with
copper sulfate and snuff, as used for stomach and tapeworm
control. The owner believed that the cattle had been benefited,
but there was evidence of stiffness among them. No change was
made in the care or management except that finely ground feed-
ing bonemeal was made available to them in an open trough under
shelter where they were penned at night. A typical chronic case
is shown in Fig. 8. A blood sample was taken from this animal
but it jellied before reaching the laboratory. The herd continued
to use the local range. No supplementary grain was fed. The
cattle improved greatly in physical condition during the winter
of 1931-1932 due in part to mildness of the weather as it allowed
the growth of forage on the range. However, other cattle bear-
ing calves on the flatlands in the spring of 1932 were thin.
The improvement noted in physical condition, recovery from
stiffness, and the fact that these cattle discontinued chewing on
bones and oyster shells when on the range (while neighboring
herds continued to chew such material), were considered suffi-
cient evidence to justify further investigation of the relative
efficiency of the bonemeal and parasite treatment, bonemeal alone,
and parasitic treatment alone, upon depraved appetite and stiff-
ness in cattle. Blood samples were obtained from five additional
herds the owners of which desired to cooperate. Bonemeal was
supplied to each of these herds, while others were given parasitic
treatment only. A reasonable check was obtained on sole para-
site treatment and additional bonemeal consumption records
obtained on herds the owners of which purchased and used bone-
meal. Subsequent blood samples were obtained on several such
herds, the analyses of which will be presented separately. These
cattle ate bonemeal when given free access to it, as shown in Fig. 7.
When seen in November, 1932, those herds receiving both bone-
meal supplement and parasite treatment were in good thrift. A
few individuals in a herd receiving bonemeal supplement alone
were less thrifty than during the previous April. Two animals
having parasite treatment alone were improved; others were
unchanged, while still others showed definite craving for some-
thing not provided in the forage. The supply of grass was plen-
tiful during the entire grazing season. An autopsy performed
on a very weak cow (Case No. 5 in Table I) showed the treatment
for internal parasites to have been effective in reducing infes-
tation.







Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


FIG. 7.-Cattle were given free access to bonemeal, which they took of their
own accord. It is desirable to place the trough under a shelter to
protect the bonemeal from wind and rain.

During the spring of 1933, all except two herds having had
access to bonemeal had ceased to show craving for bones and
oyster shells on the range. One of these two herds had made
marked improvement, all stiffness had disappeared, and the cattle
were in better physical condition. The remaining herd which
had had access to bonemeal regularly during the preceding year,
and less regularly during 1932-1933, declined in condition and
some animals were showing a craving for shells. However, even
this herd was still in better physical condition than were other
untreated herds that were grazed on the same range without
access to bonemeal. The animal shown in Fig. 1 on the cover
page is one of those on this range not receiving bonemeal. No
animal died from sweeny or stiffs in any of the herds while bone-
meal was accessible.
The improvement in physical condition of the animals after
free and regular access to bonemeal for several months is shown
clearly in the pairs of illustrations in Figs. 8, 9, 10 and 11. Cat-
tle take bonemeal when given free access to it under these condi-
tions, as was shown in Fig. 7. On ranges where stiffness is preva-
lent, cattle treated for parasites but not given bonemeal were not
in as good thrift as normal healthy animals. They were said to
crave bones and shells, and showed a dry, harsh coat. Cattle
having bonemeal alone showed no stiffness but some animals
showed evidence of parasitic infestation and injury. These ob-
servations indicate that parasitic infestation is not the primary
cause of the depraved appetite associated with stiffness, and this
is further supported by blood analyses that will be reported.








Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


FIG. 8.-This cow shows the stiffness and thin condition typical of an
animal deficient in phosphorus.


FIG. 9.-The cow in Figure 8 was given access to bonemeal for 71 months.
Stiffness disappeared and she discontinued chewing bones and shells.
Note the improvement in physical condition. The blood contained 4.35
milligrams of inorganic phosphorus per 100 cubic centimeters of
plasma.








Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


FIG. 10.-This first-calf heifer was thin and temporarily crippled because
of phosphorus deficiency. Note her calf at side. The heifer's blood
contained only 2.65 milligrams of inorganic phosphorus per 100 cubic
centimeters of plasma at this time.


FIG. 11.-The young cow in Figure 10 recovered after daily access to bone-
meal over a 9-months period. Stiffness disappeared; she gained in
condition, and discontinued chewing on bones and oyster shells. The
concentration of inorganic phosphorus in the blood plasma increased
from 2.65 up to 5.55 milligrams at the end of the period.







20 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


One herd on good improved grass pasture under fence on an
affected area was in poor physical condition in November, 1932.
Several young cattle were seen licking a cow hide placed on a
fence to dry. For about 100 days during the winter, a daily
allowance of silage and two-thirds of a pound of cottonseed meal
per head was offered. The pasture was changed from the fenced
improved pasture on the flatlands, to the open range on the border
of the yellow sandhills. The cattle grazed the native grasses on
the sandhills in preference to the grasses on the affected flatlands
area. Physical condition of the cattle was excellent on May 1,
1933. They took small amounts of bonemeal but there was no
indication of any special craving for it while they were on the
sandhills range.
It was observed that cattle with depraved appetites tend to
consume bonemeal regularly and in fair amounts when they are
given access to it. As the craving diminishes and condition im-
proves, small but regular amounts of bonemeal are consumed.
On the average, as much as one pound of bonemeal may be con-
sumed during the first month, but eight to ten pounds per head
is sufficient for the year. The rates of bonemeal consumption
are presented in Table V and are discussed in connection with
the studies of the blood.

ANALYSES OF THE BLOOD PLASMA OF HEALTHY AND STIFF
CATTLE
Blood samples were drawn from the jugular veins of cattle and
centrifuged to obtain the plasma, which was analyzed by the
Fiske and Subbarow(6) method. The results were used to
measure the plane of phosphorus nutrition.
The first blood sample obtained in this study was from Case
No. 2 (see Table II), a first-calf heifer down with a multiple frac-
ture of the scapula. While down, this animal received concen-
trates for several days and the calf did not nurse, which may
have increased the inorganic phosphorus content of the plasma
over that at the time when the scapula was broken. Even so,
the plasma contained only 3.33 mgms. per 100 cc. The recently
stiff two-year-old heifer, after the calf had been weaned for 10
days, had a blood plasma containing 3.85 mgms. of inorganic
phosphorus per 100 cc. Case No. 4 nursing a 41/2-months-old
calf had but 2.00 mgms. per 100 cc.
Since cattlemen had stated that stiff and sweenied cows could






Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


be saved by weaning their calves, all analyses of blood samples
were assembled for study in herds where both nursing and dry
cows, heifers or steers were present. It was found from these
analyses that the inorganic phosphorus content of the blood
plasma from dry cows on ranges where cattle have depraved
appetites was fully one-third higher than that of nursing cows
on the same ranges. Also, steers and heifers never having had
any drain of phosphorus by milk production, possessed two-thirds
more inorganic phosphorus in the blood plasma than did the cows
that were suckling calves. (See Fig. 12.) These differences in
blood analyses are in agreement with the relative physical
strength and condition of cattle of these three classes. The
average inorganic phosphorus content of the blood plasma for the
groups of cattle in each of these herds is given in Table III.



















FIG. 12.-Lactation is a heavy drain on the phosphorus supply in the body.
On phosphorus deficient ranges, the inorganic phosphorus in the blood
of 42 cows nursing calves averaged 2.87 milligrams per 100 cubic cen-
timeters of plasma, and on the same ranges that of 16 dry cows aver-
aged 3.80 milligrams. Note the thinness of this range cow.

Before additional herds were given access to bonemeal in co-
operative feeding trials in 1932, blood samples from selected
nursing cows were analyzed. These animals were designated,
so that the same animals could be examined at the end of the
trials. In those instances where it was impossible to examine







22 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

TABLE III.-INORGANIC PHOSPHORUS CONTENT PER 100 CUBIC CENTIMETERS
OF BLOOD PLASMA OF NURSING, AND DRY COWS, STEERS AND HEIFERS ON
RANGES WHERE CATTLE SHOWED DEPRAVED APPETITE, AND DID NOT HAVE
ACCESS TO BONEMEAL.

Nursing cows Dry cows Steers and heifers
Herd Number of Average Number of Average Number of Average
number animals analysis animals analysis animals analysis
milligrams milligrams milligrams
2 5 2.09 1 3.49
3 20 2.96 12 3.74 4 5.47
7 10 2.81 .. .... 2 3.65
8 5 3.56 1 3.42
9 1 2.00 1 3.85
12 1 3.08 1 5.38 2 5.06
Total or
average... 42 2.87 16 3.80 8 4.91

some of these individuals, other nursing cows in the herd as near
average in condition as possible, were substituted. Of the 32
nursing cows in the herds which were to have access to bonemeal,
one analysis was 0.83 mgms., six between 1.05 and 1.83 mgms.,
19 between 2.00 and 2.99 mgms., and only six above 3.00 mgms.
of inorganic phosphorus per 100 cc. of blood plasma.
Blood samples obtained in 1933 from nursing cows in the same
herds, many the same individuals, showed only five with values
as low as 2.37 to 2.70 mgms. while 17 ranged between 4.00 and
6.33 mgms. of inorganic phosphorus per 100 cc. The average
for the 32 animals before having had access to bonemeal was 2.44
mgms. in contrast with 4.02 mgms. of inorganic phosphorus per
100 cc. plasma for 34 nursing cows after having access to bone-
meal more or less regularly for periods of three to 11 months.
The range and average analyses for cows in each herd, both before
and after access to bonemeal as a supplement to the deficient
forages, are shown in Table IV.
From studies of the blood, it appears that cattle can be placed
in a good plane of phosphorus nutrition on these affected ranges
by giving them regular access to bonemeal for a period of three
to eight months. Herd No. 7, and Herd No. 1, during the second
year, furnish evidence that irregular access to bonemeal gives
some benefit, but that regular access is necessary to allow the








Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


TABLE IV.-DIFFERENCES IN THE INORGANIC PHOSPHORUS CONTENT OF THE
BLOOD PLASMA OF NURSING COWS ON PHOSPHORUS-DEFICIENT FORAGES,
BEFORE AND WHILE RECEIVING BONEMEAL SUPPLEMENT.

Inorganic phosphorus per 100 cc. of blood plasma
Before supplement After supplement
Herd Number of Number of
number samples Range Average samples Range Average
milligrams milligrams milligrams milligrams
2 5 1.74-2.39 2.09 6 3.33-5.05 4.06
4 8 0.83-2.76 1 60 8 3.17-4.90 4.03
7 10 1.83-3.30 2.81 12 2.37-6.33 3.40
8 5 2.38-4.83 3.56 4 3.46-5.18 4.26
10 4 2.08-2.65 2.27 4 4.88-6.25 5.58
Total or
average... 32 0.83-4.83 2.44 34 2.37-6.33 4.02

cattle to reach normal condition. Analyses of the blood plasma
from the nursing cows in these two herds showed 3.40 and 2.97
mgms. of inorganic phosphorus per 100 cc. of plasma, respectively.
Individuals in each of these herds exhibited some craving while
none did in another herd that averaged 3.82 mgms. The latter
herd was in better physical condition also.
The rate of bonemeal consumption appears to be related
directly to the level of inorganic phosphorus in the blood, and
the length of time that the cattle have had access to bonemeal.
In Table V it may be noted that Herd No. 4 had a very low initial
phosphorus content of the blood and that the rate of bonemeal
consumption was high in proportion. Generally, the longer cattle
have access to bonemeal and the nearer they are to a good plane
of phosphorus nutrition, the less of it they consume. However,
there is a minimum amount needed continuously to supplement
the forages on the deficient ranges.
No records were obtained on the phosphorus content of the
blood plasma of cows before and after parasite treatment, so
that no direct evidence is available from this standpoint. Medium
to good levels of phosphorus in the blood, accompanied by poor
physical-condition of the animals, are evidence that parasites are
economic factors in cattle production on the ranges studied, but
are not the major cause of the condition known as stiffs or sweeny.








24 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


TABLE V.-BONEMEAL CONSUMPTION OF RANGE CATTLE WHILE ON PHOS-
PHORUS-DEFICIENT PASTURES, AND ITS EFFECT UPON THE INORGANIC PHOS-
PHORUS CONTENT OF THE BLOOD PLASMA OF NURSING COWS.

Bonemeal consumption Inorganic phosphorus per 100 cc. plasma
Interval Before honemeal After bonemeal
Number Amount
Herd of Since per head Number Average Number Average
number cattle Accessible access per month samples analysis samples analysis
days days pounds milligrams milligrams
1 20* 361 0 0.59* .. .... 6 2.97
2 24 348 0 .53 5 2.09 6 4.06
4 22 348 0 .70 8 1.00 8 4.03
7 100* 337 0 .34* 10 2.81 12 3.40
10 20 272 0 .56 4 2.27 4 5.58
1 20 231 0 .66 .. .... 6 4.50
11 20 129 119 .68 .. .... 4 3.82
8 39 102 63 .79 5 3.56 4 4.26

*These animals had irregular access to bonemeal. Some of them showed
depraved appetite.

The results obtained in Florida by the use of bonemeal with
cattle suffering with phosphorus deficiency are in accord with
earlier investigations of a similar condition in Minnesota(5, 14,
15).
A summary of all analyses made of the blood plasmas, together
with the type of range over which the cattle graze, the class of
cattle, and the special treatment accorded them, is given in
Table VI.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The condition known as stiffs or sweeny which affects cattle,
and is associated with a craving to chew bones, oyster shells,
leather, and similar materials on certain ranges and pastures, is
caused primarily by a shortage of phosphorus in the forages
growing on these areas. This is shown by the sub-normal content
of inorganic phosphorus in the blood plasma of affected cattle, and
in the increase of its level by consumption of bonemeal. Under
such management, stiffness disappears, the cattle discontinue
chewing on such things as were mentioned above, and improve
in physical condition while remaining on the same ranges. Im-
provements, observed by the cattlemen, when affected animals are
given a supplementary feed of cottonseed meal or corn without
a mineral supplement minimize the possibility that calcium is










Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle 25


TABLE VI.-HISTORY OF CATTLE USED IN THE INVESTIGATION OF SWEENY OR
STIFFS, SHOWING THE TYPE OF RANGE, TREATMENT, AND PHOSPHORUS CON-
TENT OF THE BLOOD PLASMA.

Inorganic phosphorus
per 100 cc. plasma
Herd Type of Number Class Special Year
number range of cattle of cattle treatment* sample Range Average


1

2


3





4

5

6

7


8


9

10

11

12


13

14

15

16


clay. .......

clay ........


flats. .......





clay ......

flood plain...

flats and
yellow sand..

clay .. .....


flats .. .


clay .. ..

clay ..

clay .. .

clay ........


clay........

clay and sand

sandhills .. .

sandhills ....


nursing cows.
nursing cows.

nursing cows.
dry cow.....
nursing cows.

nursing cows.
fat heifers...
dry cows....
nursing cows.
dry cow.....
fat steers....

nursing cows.
nursing cows.

nursing cows.

pregnant and
nursing cows.

nursing cows.
fat steers....
nursing cows.

pregnant cow
nursing cows.
nursing cows.

dry cow.....
nursing cow..

nursing cows.
nursing cows.

nursing cows.

dry cow.....
nursing cow..
heifers ......

nursing cows.

nursing cows.

nursing cows.
dry cows....

nursing cows.


A and B
A and B

none
none
A and B

none
none
none
none
none
none

none
A

none

A


none
none
A

none
none
A and B

none
none

none
A and B

A and B

A
A
A

A and B

A and B

B
B

A


milligrams

3.53-5.29
2.22-3.45

1.74-2.39

3.33-5.05

1.69-3.31
4.78-5.49
2.38-5.29
2.76-5.00

5.21-6.41

0.83-2.76
3.17-4.90

3.97.5.98

1.29-5.29

1.83-3.30
3.54-3.76
2.37-6.33


2.38-4.83
3.46-5.18



2.08-2.65
4.88-6.25

3.50-4.03


4.90-5.21

5.00-7.58

3.28-4.85

3.48-5.18
4.24-7.19

3.91-5.32


milligrams

4.50
2.97

2.09
3.49
4.06

2.40
5.13
3.60
3.64
5.08
5.81

1.60
4.03

4.65

3.25

2.81
3.65
3.40

3.42
3.56
4.26

3.85
2.00

2.27
5.58

3.82

5.38
3.08
5.06

6.16

4.07

4.31
5.25

4.45


*Treatment A consisted of access to finely ground feeding bonemeal.
Treatment B consisted of three or four six-ounce bi-weekly drenches of a
solution of four ounces of copper sulfate and four ounces of snuff to three
gallons of water.


sufficiently deficient in the forages as to be a primary causative

agent in the stiffness.

The blood studies verify the belief of the cattlemen that wean-

ing the calf of a stiff cow gives the cow greater opportunity for

recovery. When the drain of lactation has ceased, the inorganic







26 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station


phosphorus of the blood plasma is allowed to increase. In other
words, the cow can get the full benefit of any small amounts of
phosphorus in the feeds, rather than having to put it in the milk
for the calf's sustenance. Steers and heifers that have never
borne calves have a higher plasma phosphorus than either dry
cows or nursing cows. The last suffer in proportion to the drain
for milk production.
Internal parasites, such as stomach worms, when present, have
been seen to lower the condition of the cattle, and to increase the
economic losses. However, they are secondary rather than pri-
mary, as causative agents of the stiffness. Control of parasites
allows the cattle to attain more rapid recovery in physical con-
dition when in good plane of phosphorus nutrition.
In stiffs, withdrawal of mineral matter from the skeleton de-
pletes it to such an extent that the bones are weakened, articular
surfaces of the joints may erode, or even break through, making
the cattle either temporarily stiff or permanently crippled.
Phosphorus deficiency may attain such low levels that the utili-
zation of the feeds is less efficient, as evidenced by thin cattle on
luxuriant improved pastures, or on ranges producing adequate
quantities of native forages. Restoration of phosphorus to the
rations under these conditions allows the cattle to utilize these
forages for productive purposes. The losses of cattle by death,
as well as the greater economic loss in condition of a larger num-
ber of animals, were diminished by the use of bonemeal. It is
possible to overcome sweeny or stiffs (phosphorus deficiency) in
cattle entirely by giving them regular and continuous access to
finely ground feeding bonemeal.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors have appreciated the spirit of cooperation shown
by all present and former owners of cattle who have contributed
in any way to the progress of this investigation. County Agent
E. P. Scott arranged for one of the cooperative feeding trials
with cattle. A number of other county agents assisted in arrang-
ing contacts with men whose cattle range on areas where sweeny
occurs. Dr. E. F. Thomas aided in examination of fecal samples
for prevalence of internal parasites. W. J. Sheely cooperated in
field contacts during the progress of the investigation. Will T.
Dunn and L. L. Rusoff assisted with the chemical analysis of the
forages obtained from certain ranges and pastures.







Stiffs or Sweeny (Phosphorus Deficiency) in Cattle


LITERATURE CITED

1. ASSOCIATION OF OFFICIAL AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTS. Official and tenta-
tive methods of analysis. Compiled by the committee on editing
methods of analysis. Revised to July 1, 1924. Ed. 2, 535p. illus. Wash-
ington, D. C. 1925.
2. ASTON, B. C., R. E. R. GRIMMETT, F. J. A. BROGAN and P. H. SYKES.
Mineral content of pastures. The Wairarapa district. New Zealand
Jour. Sci. and Technol. xii: 304-320. 1931.
3. BECKER, R. B., W. M. NEAL and A. L. SHEALY. I. Salt Sick: Its cause
and prevention. II. Mineral supplements for cattle. Fla. Agr. Exp.
Sta. Bul. 231: 5-23. 1931.
4. CARY, C. A. Deficiency diseases. Jour. Amer. Vet. Med. Assoc. 56:
609-614. 1920.
5. ECKLES, C. H., R. B. BECKER and L. S. PALMER. A mineral deficiency in
the rations of cattle. Minn. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 229: 1-49. 1926.
6. FISKE, C. H. and Y. SUBBAROW. The colometric determination of phos-
phorus. Jour. Biol. Chem. 66: 375-400. 1925.
7. HART, E. B., B. A. BEACH, E. J. DELWICHE and E. G. BAILEY. Phos-
phorus deficiency and a dairy cattle "disease." Wis. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul.
389: 3-10. 1927.
8. HUFFMAN, C. F. and G. E. TAYLOR. Depraved appetite in dairy cattle.
Mich. Agr. Exp. Sta. Quart. Bul. 8, No. 4: 174-177. 1926.
9. KENNEDY, R. P. A quantitative determination of iron in tissues. Jour.
Biol. Chem. 74: 385-391. 1927.
10. MORRIS, H. P., J. W. NELSON and L. S. PALMER. A quantitative deter-
mination of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in feedstuffs and cattle
excreta. Indus. and Engin. Chem., Anal. Ed. 3: 164-167. 1931.
11. NEAL, W. M. and R. B. BECKER. The composition of feedstuffs in rela-
tion to nutritional anemia in cattle. Jour. Agr. Res. 47: in press.
12. NESSLER, J. II. Untersuchungen der knochen von knochenbruchigkeit
Rindvieh. Landwirt. Vers. Stat. 16: 187-196. 1873.
13. ORR, J. B. and A. HOLM. The influence on animal health of minerals in
diet. Econ. Advis. Council. Committee on the mineral content of natural
pasture. 6th Rpt.: 12-66. 1931.
14. PALMER, L. S., W. S. CUNNINGHAM and C. H. ECKLES. Normal varia-
tions in the inorganic phosphorus of the blood of dairy cattle. Jour.
Dairy Sci. xiii: 174-195. 1930.
15. PALMER, L. S. and C. H. ECKLES. Effect of phosphorus deficient rations
on blood composition in cattle. Proc. Soc. Expt. Biol. and Med. xxiv:
307-309. 1927.
16. ROLOFF, F. VON. Ueber Osteomalacia und Rachitis. Arch. path. Anat.
u. Physiol. 37: 433-503; 46: 305-316; 1: 189-220; 5: 152-163. 1866-1879.
17. SCHMIDT, H. Feeding bonemeal to range cattle on the coastal plains of
Texas. Texas Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 344: 1-37. 1926.
18. SCOTT, S. G. Phosphorus deficiency in forage feeds of range cattle.
Jour. Agr. Res. 38: 113-130. 1929.
19. SVANBERG, O. Phosphorus deficiency diseases of cattle in Smaeland.
Kgl. Landtbruks-Akad. Handl. Tids. 71: 41-84. 1932.
20. WELCH, H. Bone chewing by cattle. Mont. Agr. Exp. Sta. Circ. 122:
1-8. 1924.
21. Phosphates for livestock in Montana. Mont. State Col-
lege Ext. Service Circ. 47: 2-4. 1933.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs