Staggers warning

Hypomagnesemia - Grass Staggers

Grass staggers can affect cattle, sheep, horses and deer and occurs when the intake of magnesium is below the animals requirements for maintenance and lactation. It mainly occurs in lactating animals and in the spring when animals are turned out onto lush pastures. Soils that are naturally high in potassium and those fertilised with potash and nitrogen are high-risk areas and soils should be sampled to establish the correct amount of fertiliser to be applied. Your R.M. Jones agronomist will be able to help and advise on this should you wish.   Although the condition is less common in the autumn and at housing this year we have had several reports of affected livestock during this period, most likely caused by restricted food intake related to the weather and stress. 


Magnesium has to be given daily to animals at risk because the body has no readily available stores. However most forms of magnesium are unpalatable and must be combined with other ingredients i.e. molassed buckets or in concentrates. Supplementary feeds such as hay or sugar beet pulp which are high in fibre are useful in slowing down the rate of food through the intestine increasing the length of time for the absorption of magnesium to occur. Another option is to use the Agrimin Rumbul bullet, a sustained release bolus containing magnesium, copper and aluminium, designed and clinically proven to manage the magnesium status of the herd or flock over high risk periods. 

The active life of the Rumbul bolus is 28 days for cattle and 21 days for sheep, and only costs 15 and 5 pence per head per day respectively.

For more information please speak to your R.M. Jones representative.

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