Magnesium is the most common enzyme activator and is closely associated with calcium and phosphorus. It is required for correct nervous function, where deficiency can cause 'misfiring' of nerves, which leads to staggers.
Spring, and sometimes autumn, grass is low in available magnesium due to rapid growth of grass and lock-up by potash. Dietary excesses are not stored and the very small amount in the skeleton is not easily mobilized during times of deficiency.
Magnesium solubility declines sharply as ruminal pH rises above 6.5, therefore, extreme fluctuations in pH will decrease the absorption rate.
Supplementary magnesium – from one of the following forms, should be supplied during periods of stress. It is important to remember that sodium chloride can enhance magnesium uptake from the rumen, so adequate levels should also be provided in the total diet.
Available from Trouw Nutrition GB as part of the Maxcare range of products:
Maxcare High Mag Cattle
A high magnesium mineral which will benefit cattle at grass, especially when grass growth rates are high in spring and autumn when there is increased risk of grass staggers.
Maxcare High Mag Cattle Bucket
A quality mineral bucket containing high levels of magnesium to help with the reduction of grass staggers. It is especially useful in spring and autumn when grass growth rates are high.
Maxcare High Mag Sheep Bucket
A high specification mineral bucket with increased levels of magnesium to help reduce the risk of grass staggers. It is especially useful in spring and autumn when grass growth rates are high.
Maxcare High Mag Block
A high quality mineral block with added magnesium. This block is suitable for both cattle and sheep at grass. Do not feed to intensively reared stock. 50g provides 5g magnesium.
Calcined Magnesite (52% Magnesium): Feed approximately 60g/head/day to provide 30g/head/day. Can be unpalatable so only use in feed but this is a more reliable method of supplementation when compared to Magnesium Chloride Flakes.
Magnesium Chloride Flakes (12% Magnesium): Dissolve 250g in 100 litres of water to provide 30g/head/day. Ensure no access to any other water source. This should only be seen as a "quick fix" due to the variability of intakes.
For more information, contact the Trouw Nutrition GB Ruminant Team