Adverse effects of dietary lupine in broiler chickens

Poult Sci. 2001 May;80(5):621-5. doi: 10.1093/ps/80.5.621.


This study describes the adverse effects of dietary lupines in broiler chickens for which lupine seeds (Lupinus angustifolius) in raw, dehulled, or autoclaved forms were used as a replacement for soybean meal (SBM) in practical diets. Test diets contained 35% SBM (control) or raw (40%), autoclaved (40%), or dehulled (35%) lupine seed meal. All diets were isocaloric (3,230 kcal/kg AME) and isonitrogenous (23% crude protein). Each diet was offered ad libitum to a group of 16 (four replicates with four birds per replicate) day-old male broiler chicks for 21 d. Chemical analysis of lupine seeds showed no detectable levels of mycotoxins, and total alkaloid contents were below 0.01%. Decreased food intake and growth rate were the main signs observed in all birds fed lupine-based diets. These adverse effects were observed during the first week and persisted throughout the trial. Acute signs of toxicity were observed in four chicks fed the diet containing raw lupine seed during the first week of exposure. Initial clinical signs included leg weakness, lack of coordination, and torticollis. In later stages, during Weeks 2 and 3, some birds fed lupine-based diets showed signs of muscle paralysis and skeletal deformity. Postmortem examination did not show gross pathological changes associated with the dietary treatments. Liver microsomal cytochrome P-50 content was higher (P < 0.05) in birds fed the raw lupine-based diet (mean 0.56 pmol/mg protein) in comparison with controls (mean 0.25 pmol/mg protein), which indicated a systemic effect. Based on the present results, it can be stated that high levels of some varieties of sweet lupines in broiler diets may cause significant adverse effects manifested as 1) decreased feed intake and growth rate in most of the birds, and 2) specific signs of acute and chronic toxicity in some individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / adverse effects
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Chickens / growth & development*
  • Chickens / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Fabaceae / adverse effects*
  • Fabaceae / toxicity
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Seeds / adverse effects*
  • Seeds / toxicity


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System