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Grass tetany in cows at turn out

Grass tetany is a major cause of death in cows, particularly suckler cows, in Northern Ireland. It is caused by magnesium deficiency, which is common in lactating cows grazing lush spring pasture. A sudden deterioration in weather conditions can lead to severe outbreaks of grass tetany by dramatically increasing the number of cows deficient in magnesium.

Steps that can be taken to prevent grass tetany include:

• Feeding High Magnesium concentrates
• Adding Magnesium to the water supply
• Dusting Magnesium onto the swards
• Providing high magnesium licks
• Using slow release magnesium boluses
• All have benefits and disadvantages