Magnesium Alert 'Autumn 2016'

Over recent years, various symptoms of magnesium deficiency in both sheep and cattle appear to have increased. This year seems to be no exception.

Major reasons for the rising manifestation of magnesium deficiency are:-
➢ High potassium levels in soils and herbage competing for sites of magnesium absorption in the animal
➢ Increased reliance on young lush grazing crops and improved pastures where mineralization is low
➢ Demand on the mother by pre- and post-partum offspring
➢ An over reliance on CausMag® as a source of magnesium – it is only sparingly available to ruminants.
➢ This year, in particular, a lot of ‘super’ has been spread. Super is negatively indicated for magnesium deficiency.

Both ewes and lambs are affected by magnesium shortages but in different ways:
➢ In ewes, as the foetus develops there is an increasing demand for minerals especially calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
➢ Deficiency can manifest itself as twin lamb disease and ketosis.
➢ Magnesium demand increases with the onset of lactation.
➢ For lambs, magnesium is required for energy metabolism.
➢ Bovatec® can be added for both ewes and lambs to improve productivity.

Recommendations for Pregnant and Lactating Ewes:-
StockMins-EweLamLac – provides all the necessary minerals and micro nutrients to be fed 2-4weeks before and 6-8 weeks after lambing.
StockMins-EweLamLac HE - as above with the addition of cracked corn as a glucose precursor. This encourages more milk production in high performance ewes.
StockMins-Hoof n Horn – as for EweLamLac with the addition of elements for immune response and hoof growth and repair
* - Note Bovatec® may be added to promote further milk production and control coccidiosis in lambs.

Recommendations for Dry Ewes and Wethers:-
StockMins-General Purpose – on basic pasture
StockMins-HiMag – on crops and lush pasture

Recommendations for Weaned Lambs:-
StockMins-HiMag + Bovatec® - for grazing crops and improved pasture
StockMins-Lamb Finisher – for growing and store lambs on more mature pasture

Growing and lactating cattle have a need for additional dietary magnesium in the available form.
➢ Similar to lambs, growing cattle need magnesium to optimize growth.
➢ For lactating cows, available magnesium is needed to offset tetany symptoms
➢ A Liquid Feed Supplement (LFS) is the most efficient way to offer mineral supplements to cattle.

Recommendations for Lactating Cows:-
StockGro-HiMag – provides magnesium in highly available forms to help offset grass tetany.
StockGro-HiMag + Bovatec® - additional Bovatec® will encourage more milk production by up to 12%.

Recommendations for Growing Grazing Cattle:-
StockGro-HiMag + Bovatec® - gives a dual boost to growth. On crops and improved pasture, magnesium gives a boost to growth. Bovatec® offers additional growth and feed efficiency benefits.
StockMins-HiMag + Bovatec® - is an economic granular alternative but with a lower efficacy for cattle to that of LFS. It is however a far more effective solution than traditional Causmag® supplementation when trying to prevent grass tetany.

By Dr Paul Meggison
General Manager and Chief Animal Nutritionist at AusFarm Nutrition