Group Title: Department of Animal Science mimeograph series
Title: Crotolaria seed in harvested corn may be cause of poor swine performance
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 Material Information
Title: Crotolaria seed in harvested corn may be cause of poor swine performance
Series Title: Department of Animal Science mimeograph series - Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; AN65-11
Physical Description: 6 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wallace, H. D. ( Harold Dean )
Combs, G. E. ( George Ernest ), 1927-
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: March, 1965
Copyright Date: 1965
Subject: Swine -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Corn as feed -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Poisonous plants -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: H.D. Wallace and G.E. Combs.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 6).
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "March, 1965."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072965
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 77551136

Full Text

. Department of Animal Science
SMimeograph Series No. AN65-11
arc 1965
\ i



H. D. Wallace and G. E. Combs 2

Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station
Gainesville, Florida

Showy crotolaria (Crotolaria snectabilis Roth.) has been described as a robust
annual plant 3-6 feet or more tall that is sometimes planted as a cover crop to en-
rich soil and to reduce the population of root-knot nematode. It occurs commonly also
as a roadside plant, in fencerows, in abandoned fields, around farm buildings and
about refuse disposal areas. It occurs in nearly all parts of the state but is
especially common in farming communities. It thrives in areas under cultivation
and is a bothersome plant in the field corn producing areas of Florida.

The original objective of the experiment reported here was to compare the
feeding value for pigs of two corn varieties commonly grown in the northern areas
of the state. Swine producers had observed differences in performance between the
Dixie 18 and Coker 67 variety. Thus an experiment was designed to compare under
controlled conditions the nutritive value of these two corn varieties. Proximate
analyses of the two corn varieties, determined at our Animal Nutrition Laboratory,
are presented in Table I.

Table I. Proximate Analyses of Corn Varieties

Variety Dixie 18 Coker 67

Nutrient. %

Moisture 14.82 18.70
Crude protein 9.90 9.68
Ether extract 1.33 1.83
Crude fiber 1.11 1.67
Ash 1.26 1.20
Nitrogen-free extract 71.58 66.97

I/ The assistance of Mr. Billy Almond of Lee, Florida,
tal corn varieties is gratefully acknowledged.

in obtaining the experimen-

2/ Wallace, Animal Nutritionist, and Combs, Associate Animal Nutritionist, Animal
Science Department. The assistance of B. R. Cannon and L. S. Taylor, Swine
Herdsmen, is gratefully acknowledged.

,..,,,,,,,,.,..... ,,


Although the Coker 67 variety was somewhat higher in moisture at the time of
the analyses, there appeared to be no gross differences in chemical composition
which would be expected to produce measurable differences in pig performance.


Forty crossbred pigs (Duroc-Landrace x Hampshire) were divided into eight pens
of five pigs each. Four pens consisted of gilts and four pens consisted of barrows.
One pen of gilts and one pen of barrows was assigned to each of the following die-
tary treatments.

Treatment I DIXIE 18 Shelled, free-choice with mixed supplement.

Treatment 2 DIXIE 18 Ground, complete mixed, 74 parts corn, 26 parts
mixed supplement.

Treatment 3 COKER 67 Shelled, free-choice with mixed supplement

Treatment 4 COKER 67 Ground, complete mixed, 74 parts corn, 26 parts
mixed supplement.

The pigs were fed by self feeder in concrete confinement.

The composition of the mixed supplement is given in Table 2.

Table 2. Composition of mixed supplement.

Ingredient, %

Soybean oilmeal (50%) 46.80
Meat scraps (50%) 25.00
Alfalfa meal (17%) 25.00
lodized salt 2.00
Trace minerals 1/ 0.20
B-vitamin supplement 2 0.40
BI2 supplement 2/ 0.20:
Antibiotic supplement / 0.40

!/ Adds in p.p.m.: manganese (29.6), iron (36.5), copper
(2.5), cobalt (0.83), zinc (42.0) and potassium (3.9).
2/ Contained 8,000, 14,720, 36,000 and 40,000 mg./lb. re-
spectively of riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin and
choline chloride.
3/ Contained a minimum of 20 mg. B12 per Ib.
4/ Contained 2 gm. oleandomycin and 8 gm. oxytetracycline
per Ib.


Results and Discussion

Results of the feeding experiment are summarized in Tables 3 and 4. Since
performance was similar for the sexes the data for barrows and gilts on each treat-
ment were combined and are presented in Tables 3 and 4.

Pigs fed the Dixie 18 corn gained somewhat faster but not quite as efficiently
when offered the corn free-choice with supplement as compared to the complete mixed
diet. All lots on Dixie 18 performed satisfactorily regardless of feeding method.

Pigs fed the Coker 67 corn on a free-choice basis (Pens 3 and 7) gained satis-
factorily. However, an unusual amount of wastage occurred in this lot in spite of
all efforts to prevent wastage. The pigs also tended to overeat on the supplement
relative to corn. Nevertheless, the net performance in terms of gain and feed con-
version was as good or better than that shown by the pigs fed the Dixie 18 corn
free-choice. When the Coker 67 corn was ground and fed as a complete mixture (Pens
4 and 8) results were drastically different. It was apparent within a short time
after the start of the experiment that these animals were gaining poorly. It seemed
obvious that something was seriously wrong with the diet. Upon careful examination,
the Coker 67 was found to be heavily contaminated with Crotolaria spectabilis seed.
Further examination revealed that I bushel of the shelled corn contained approximate-
ly 400 crotolaria seed or about'5.5 gm. This amount, when ground into the feed mix-
ture, probably caused the drastic impairment of performance seen in pens 4 and 8.
After 36 days on the test the pigs had gained an average of only 9.9 lb. per pig.
There were no obvious symptoms of toxicity other than an emaciated, starved appear-

Since the pigs in pens 4 and 8 were performing so poorly and there appeared to
be little chance of survival, it was decided to substitute open market corn for the
crotolaria contaminated Coker 67 to see if the pigs in these pens had been permanent-
ly injured. At the same time, open market corn was also substituted for Dixie 18
for the pigs in pens 2 and 6. All other animals remained on their original experi-
mental diets throughout the final 56 days of the trial. Results for the final 56
days are presented in Table 4.

Pigs in pens I' and 5, on the Dixie 18 corn fed free-choice with supplement, con-
tinued to gain well (1.73 Ib./day). They consumed a reasonable proportion of sup-
plement to corn and required 3.32 lb. of total feed per pound of gain. Pigs in pens
2 and 6, which were fed a complete mixture containing the open market corn, gained
very well (1.84 lb./day) and required only 3.10 Ib. of feed per Ib. of gain. The
pigs in pens 3 and 7, which remained on the shelled Coker 67 corn free-choice with
supplement, made only fair gains (1.58 lb./day) and required 3.38 Ib. total feed per
lb. gain. Apparently these animals sorted the corn from the crotolaria seed and
rejected enough of the crotolaria seed to prevent a serious impairment of perform-
ance. The animals in pens 4 and 8, which had been severely affected by the pre-
sence of the ground crotolaria seed in their feed mixture during the first 36 days
of the study, responded well to the change in ground corn and made a satisfactory
recovery during the final 56 day feeding period. Without doubt there was some carry-
over effect since feed intake and gains were much below the other groups. However,
the pigs appeared to be on the way to a full recovery when the experiment was termi-

Table 3. Summary of Feedlot Performance (First 36 days).

Pen numbers I and 5 2 and 6 3 and 7 4 and 8
Corn variety Dixie 18 Dixie 18 Coker 67 Coker 67
Corn preparation Shelled Ground Shelled Ground
Method of feeding Free-Choice Complete Mixture Free-Choice Complete Mixture

Number of pigs 10 10 10 10
Initial wt., lb. 26.8 27.1 26.9 27.0
Final wt., lb. 59.8 57.2 59.3 36.9
Daily gain, lb. 0.92 0.84 0.90 0.28
Daily feed intake, lb.:
Corn 1.74 -- 1.37 -----
Supplement 0.93 ----- 0.96
Total 2.67 2.34 2.33 1.67
Feed per Ib. gain, Ib.:
Corn I.89 ----- 1.52
Supplement 1.01 ---- 1.07 ---
Total 2.90 2.79 2 59 5.96

Table 4. Summary of Feedlot Performance (Final 56 Days).

Pen numbers I and 5 2 and 6 3 and 7 4 and 8
Corn variety Dixie 18 Open Market Corn- Coker 67 Open Market Corn-I
Corn preparation Shelled Ground Shelled Ground
Method of feeding Free-Choice Complete Mixture Free-Choice Complete Mixture

Number of pigs 10 10 10 10
Initial wt., Ib. 59.8 57.2 59.3 36.9
Final wt., lb. 156.5 160.3 147.3 112.4
Daily gain, Ib. 1.73 1.84 1.58 1.35
Daily feed intake, lb.:
Corn 4.23 ------ 3.74 --
Supplement 1.50 ---- 1.58 ---
Total 5.73 5.71 5.32 4.04
Feed per Ib. gain, lb.:
Corn 2.45 ----- 2.38 ----
Supplement 0.87 ------ 1.00 ----
Total 3.32 3.10 3.38 3.00

!/ For the final
in pens 2 and

56 days of the feeding test open:market corn was substituted for the Dixie 18
6 and for the crotolaria contaminated Coker 67 in pens 4 and 8.



An experiment, involving 40 growing-finishing pigs,; was initially designed to
compare the feeding value of two common field corn varieties used in the swine pro-
ducing areas of Florida namely Dixie 18 and Coker 67. However, the presence of
Crotolaria spectabilis seed in the Coker 67 variety was ascertained a few weeks
after the experiment started. The contamination level was estimated to be approxi-
mately 400 seeds or 5.5 gm. per bushel. Because of this, the original objective of
the study was abandoned and the poisoning effect of the crotolaria seed was the
main feature studied in the experiment. No useful information was obtained relative
to the comparative feeding value of the two corn varieties.

Pigs fed a ground mixed feed containing the crotolaria contaminated corn grew
very poorly and were severely emaciated after 36 days on test. Similar pigs fed
the same type corn on a free-choice basis with protein supplement gained fairly well.
This suggested that the pigs were sorting the crotolaria from the shelled corn and
rejecting it. However, even these pigs appeared to be adversely affected to some
degree, as measured by their performance during the final 56 days of the experiment.

When pigs that had been severely retarded by the presence of crotolaria seed in
their ground mixed feed were changed to a normal diet, recovery was rapid and no
evidence of permanent damage was seen.

This experiment re-emphasizes the toxicity of crotolaria seed and suggests the
need for great care in the cleaning of grains harvested on the farm.

Information on the nature of the toxic principle present in crotolaria and
much other pertinent information is to be found in Florida Bulletin 510A.

Literature Cited

I. West, Erdman and:M. W. Emmel. 1960. Plants that poison farm animals. Fla.
Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 510A.

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