As I drive to and from work this week, I have begun to see a green tint in the road ditches and in the draws of pastures. Here in western South Dakota, we have already had a number of days in the 50’s and 60’s and even a few over 70 degrees. While we can sure use more moisture, there is enough in the ground to start some cool season grasses. Several long range forecasts have predicted that the upper plains should see a good deal of moisture in March. Either way, grass tetany season is about to start…
Rapidly growing cool season grasses will often times not have enough available magnesium to support a cow’s needs. Grass tetany is more prevalent in cool springs or after a cool stretch of weather in a wet spring. Pastures that have been fertilized also seem to be more prone to grass tetany. Cows are most vulnerable to grass tetany once they calve, and begin to lactate. Their requirement for magnesium will almost double at this time. It is quite common to hear that the best milking cows, are the ones that go down with grass tetany. Their magnesium requirement would be higher than a cow with lower milk production.
Cattle cannot store any appreciable amount of magnesium in their body, so we must provide adequate amounts daily. While magnesium oxide is generally considered a good source of supplemental magnesium, it has one important drawback – it is very unpalatable.
A better Solution:
So, what is a cattleman to do? You need to provide a daily dose of something that tastes bad. Fortunately, low-moisture blocks like CRYSTALYX® are composed primarily of good tasting molasses. CRYSTALYX® “High-Mag” supplements have long been the best way to provide a daily dose of bad tasting magnesium oxide, to grazing cattle. CRYSTALYX® supplements are available 24/7 and the molasses easily masks unpalatable ingredients.
CRYSTALYX® has a number of high magnesium formulas for many grazing situations.
- CRYSTALYX® Super-Mag™ is a Balanced magnesium supplement for general use.
- CRYSTALYX® Breed-Up 17 Mag is a Premium magnesium supplement. It is intended for situations where you need magnesium supplementation along with organic trace minerals and elevated vitamin levels, to realize maximal performance from todays advanced genetics.
- CRYSTALYX® ROLYX® Pro-Mag would be the supplement of choice if you also need to add fly control to your magnesium supplement.
- CRYSTALYX® High-Mag Fescue-lyx and High-Mag Tasco®-lyx are great choices if you are running cows on endophyte infected Fescue.
CRYSTALYX® is an extremely palatable supplement that is available to your herd 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, during grass tetany season. With normal stocking rates (20-30 head per barrel) a set of CRYSTALYX® barrels will last about 2 weeks. Whether it rains or snows, or while you are putting a crop in, or are busy with other chores, CRYSTALYX® is on the job, every day.