Posted September 28, 2016
Cattle store very little magnesium in their body and rely on a daily supply of magnesium in their feed. If pasture levels are low in this mineral, cattle can develop a magnesium deficiency.
- Sudden death
- Early signs - facial & ear twitching
- Agitation towards sounds or movement e.g. being handled, birds flying overhead
- Staggering - this manifests in severe cases
- Lying on side with convulsions, muscle spasms, thrashing
A veterinarian will inject animals but if symptoms are recurring farmers may need to do so themselves, as once cattle go down they are very likely to die from the disease.
- Pasture flush after good rains/spring pastures with low mineral content
- Any reduction in feed intake e.g. restriction from pasture, being kept too long in the yards, bad weather preventing access to feed
- Pastures fertilised with high nitrogen or potash
- Lush winter pastures e.g. rye & oats.
- Cows in early lactation
- Riverina's Dairy Feeds contain extra magnesium for winter months, which works on most farms.
- If an outbreak occurs, additional magnesium can be added to your dairy or beef feed.
- Contact your Riverina sales representative or nutritionist for advice on feeding levels.
- If your cattle are showing signs of magnesium deficiency, call your local veterinarian straight away.