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Approximately 1% of cattle in the UK will experience clinical staggers per year. However, there will be a much larger percentage of animals with sub-clinical symptoms which may affect overall animal performance.

Grass staggers or hypomagnesaemia is defined as a deficiency of available dietary magnesium. Clinical signs of deficiency will occur rapidly and can quickly result in death which is why prevention is always better than cure. Spring is a risk season due to the flush in grass growth that occurs as temperatures start to increase. Not only does this rapidly growing grass have a low magnesium content, but the higher water content at this time of year will also increase the speed at which it passes through the gut further decreasing available magnesium absorption. Additionally, high levels of potassium and nitrogen
can reduce magnesium absorption once the grazed grass has been eaten.

Magnesium Grass Staggers

Alongside some basic management steps, such as reduced stress, maintained dry matter
intakes and supplementation of straw or hay to slow digestion, daily magnesium
supplementation is important, especially during risk periods.

This year in particular, the wet warmer winter means there is already plenty of forage available which may be short in magnesium and farmers are encouraged to get ahead when it comes to magnesium supplementation.

Magnesium Grass Staggers magnesium grass staggers

Opti-Lix Cattle Magnesium is a low moisture, controlled intake lick containing 10.5% magnesium from a bioavailable source to help support optimum blood magnesium levels. The high sugar content of the product also makes it very palatable, which gives assurance that stock will readily take the product which is critical to help in the management of this
common, well known spring challenge.

Copper is included in Opti-Lix Cattle Magnesium to help support fertility after calving, plus a range of other minerals, vitamins and trace elements help balance those often found deficient in grazing. The inclusion of protected zinc also aids in the management of
lameness and mastitis.

3rd March 2020

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