The Rio Blog

Preventing Grass Tetany

Posted by Rio Nutrition on May 1, 2015 3:55:07 PM

Ranchers are determined to protect their cattle. Some killers are easy to spot, like a pack of hungry predators. Grass tetany is more of a silent killer, but it is equally as dangerous. It is important to know the facts to protect your investment.

Grass tetany, also known as grass staggers or wheat pasture poisoning, occurs when the magnesium level in the blood falls below the critical level.  Grass that is susceptible to producing grass tetany is often low in magnesium, calcium and sodium, but high in potassium.

Causes of Grass Tetany

Rio Grass TetanyGrass tetany is caused in early spring grazing when the grass is very lush (very wet) and very high in soluble protein.  Protein is made up of nitrogen and is converted to usable protein in the body.  With high solubility of the nitrogen/protein it can cause protein poisoning which can lead to quick death if not corrected. Too much and too rapid movement of protein/nitrogen going into the bloodstream causes death.

Early pasture grass contains more potassium than the body can utilize effectively.  The soil releases more potassium than magnesium into the plant during early season.  Therefore, higher levels of magnesium are needed to offset this imbalance.

This is the reason why we have to feed more magnesium during early grazing.  Cattle should receive magnesium ahead of time for 30 days prior to going to pasture.  This is why we have an elevated level of Mag in all of our products. Occasionally, one might have to strategically add additional magnesium to a salt mix for free choice feeding.

V12 Hi-Mag Mineral™ delivers the following benefits:

  • Complete vitamin mineral package
  • 12% Magnesium
  • High levels of Vitamins A, D, & E
  • Nutrizorb™, our digestion-aid pack to boost digestion & help the cattle get more nutritional “mileage” out of their diet
  • Riomune™ yeast for improved gut-health and overall health status

Symptoms of Grass Tetany

It is important to know what to watch for when it comes to grass tetany. Be aware of these symptoms when observing your cattle.

  • Muscles twitching in the flank
  • Uncoordinated gait
  • Convulsions
  • Grazing away from the rest of the herd
  • Thrashing
  • Collapsing
  • Staggering
  • Coma

Protect Your Cattle

All of our calving and breeding formulas are powered by V12 - high magnesium minerals. Feeding cattle adequate amounts of magnesium on a daily basis increases blood magnesium levels and alleviates much of the grass tetany problem.

CLICK HERE to get pricing on products that help prevent grass tetany – including mineral tubs and loose mineral or contact us directly.

Topics: Blood Magnesium Levels, Cattle Nutrition, Getting more out of your feed!, Grass Staggers, Grass tetany, Grass Tetany Symptoms, Mineral Tubs, News and Tips, Protein Poisoning, Riomune Yeast, Livestock Nutrition, Livestock Nutrition Programs, Loose Minerals, Nutrizorb, V12 Hi-Mag Mineral, Wheat Pasture Poisoning

Who is RioNutrition?

Rio Nutrition is a family business based in Southwest Minnesota, serving all of the US and Canada. We work directly with ranchers, focused on helping improve profitability and sustainability through nutrition and digestion.

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