Grass staggers, tetany, hypomagnesaemia, call it what you like but spring magnesium deficiency in ruminants can be both expensive and fatal.
Fast-growing spring pasture is low in magnesium and high in moisture. This, together with less supplementary feed used at grass means that magnesium intake is reduced. To make matters worse, magnesium absorption in the animal’s gut can be compromised by high fertiliser use, particularly when potassium is added to the pasture. If the challenge of low magnesium supply is not enough, stress can also reduce blood magnesium levels making a dangerous situation critical.
The problem of staggers is mainly seen in but not confined to lactating livestock during the spring grazing period with the risk period lasting anywhere between three and ten weeks. Animals do not store magnesium in the body and clinical hypomagnesaemia will occur when the losses of magnesium through the milk exceed the dietary intake allowing blood levels to fall below a critical level. Classic symptoms of nervousness, twitching, stiffness, staggering and collapse can follow although many cows showing no signs of the deficiency will have reduced milk yield.
MEGALIX Quattro Mag
One popular way of feeding supplemental magnesium is via a palatable molassed mineral licks. Scotmin recommends feeding MEGALIX Quattro Mag. With four sources of magnesium including AGMA calcined magnesite, Quattro Mag ticks the boxes for free choice feeding in the spring grazing period. Regarded by many as the best on the market, independent comparisons including work at Glasgow University Veterinary School have shown AGMA to have superior bioavailability of magnesium, highest rumen solubility and the most consistent product quality.
MEGALIX Quattro Mag is available in 20kg/80Kg tubs and provides a convenient means of supplying 24 hour access to magnesium for livestock. Simply distribute among livestock at a rate of 1 tub per 20 head before and during known risk periods and monitor daily intake.