Beware Grass Tetany

Apr 05, 2021

Spring seems to be here. The grass is greening up and the livestock are making laps around the pastures eating everything in sight. One springtime problem to be aware of is “grass tetany”. This is a condition that happens when the grass seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. The rapid growth gives the grass a deficiency of magnesium. Severe cases can lead to death of grazing animals. This phenomenon can also happen in the fall after the dormant grass gets fall rains for revival and quick growth.

Grass tetany symptoms according to Wikipedia include, but are not limited to: Grazing away from the herd, irritability, muscle twitching, staring, incoordination, staggering, collapse, thrashing, and head thrown back.
Treatment is an IV infusion of magnesium and calcium. Prevention is feeding high mag tubs or high mag mineral in loose form or blocks. The livestock have to consume adequate amounts on a daily basis, because they do not store it for future use.
Contact your local SFG office for more information on the products available for your livestock.