Story: Diseases of sheep, cattle and deer

Calcium and magnesium supplements

Calcium and magnesium supplements

In early spring, pasture may be relatively low in magnesium and calcium at a time when cows need a good supply to produce a calf and start milking. A blood deficiency of calcium can cause milk fever, and cows will be unable to stand. A deficiency of blood magnesium can cause grass staggers, when cows become unsteady on their feet and may collapse. Application of magnesium oxide powder to pasture, as shown here, or providing it in stock water will help prevent grass staggers, as well as reducing the chance of milk fever. Injecting cows that are suspected of having milk fever with calcium borogluconate can prevent or correct the disorder.

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How to cite this page:

Gary Clark, Neville Grace and Ken Drew, 'Diseases of sheep, cattle and deer - Metabolic diseases', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 April 2024)

Story by Gary Clark, Neville Grace and Ken Drew, published 24 Nov 2008