Is it spring yet? Spring normally brings conditions which increase the risk of grass tetany in beef cattle. Grass tetany (a.k.a magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesia) is generally associated with cows grazing fast growing lush grasses during early spring when wet, cool weather persists.
The reason that grass tetany occurs during the spring is that magnesium uptake by grasses is limited in cool, wet soils. Symptoms can appear quickly and include: excitability, trembling muscles, grinding teeth or violent convulsions followed by coma and death. Unfortunately, death is generally one of the first things that producers often see when tetany conditions occur since it comes on so fast. Additionally, high levels of plant potassium and nitrogen interfere with magnesium absorption by the animals. Therefore, pastures fertilized with potash and/or ammonium sulfate or other commercial fertilizer can pose an increased risk.
Grass tetany can affect all ages and types of cattle but is most likely in lactating beef cows due to a high magnesium requirement for milk production (nearly three times greater than in early gestation). The heaviest milking cows are the most severely affected. Magnesium is not readily available from body stores so it must be provided in the diet daily. Therefore a good supplemental program is a necessity.
It is generally advised that cows receive 0.6 oz. (~16 grams) of magnesium per day to prevent grass tetany. This may come in part from forages and other feedstuffs. However, when the risk is highest it is most desirable to deliver 100 percent of this amount from a supplement. This sounds simple but most feed grade sources of magnesium, such as magnesium oxide, are unpalatable. Providing proper levels of magnesium can be a real challenge. Therefore it is of vital importance to find a highly palatable supplement with consistent daily intake that you can count on to deliver essential magnesium.
Super Mag™ is a very palatable supplement, and an excellent way to provide supplemental magnesium. CRYSTALYX®
Super Mag™ contains 4.4 percent magnesium and will supply 15 to 20 grams of magnesium at ¾ to 1 pound of intake per head per day respectively to aid in the prevention of grass tetany during conditions of high risk.
Grass tetany can be very costly once symptoms appear since mortality of cows is very high resulting in orphaned calves. Preventive measures such as feeding CRYSTALYX®
Super Mag™ are practical, cost effective and easy to implement. It’s often advised to begin supplementing magnesium 2 to 3 weeks prior to known risk periods. Make sure your Mag delivery is palatable and in front of your herd every hour of the day with CRYSTALYX®