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Selective breeding builds resistance

Author: Kristy

Genetic selection could produce cattle resistant to toxic larkspurs

The current study focused on larkspurs. This large group of Delphinium species is toxic to many animals, including cattle. (wildflowerswest.org)

Rangelands | Feb. 11, 2014

Cattle are not picky eaters: Put them in a pasture with toxic plants and edible grasses, and they quickly swallow both.

For ranchers, this diet comes at a heavy price, with up to 10 percent of steers that graze fields containing toxic larkspurs dying after eating the poisonous plants.

The authors of an article published in the current issue of Rangelands hope to change that by identifying cattle breeds that are more resistant to specific toxic plants. READ MORE

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