What's the best way of getting magnesium into Ewes?

Irishfarmer

Well-Known Member
Just curious what is your preferred and most reliable way you've found of getting magnesium into lambed ewes to prevent grass tetany. Have fed crystalix high mag buckets here and ewes won't eat them at all. Opinions appreciated.
 

Canyanero

Well-Known Member
Do you have issues with tetany? I have found this year particularly that sheep are well fed coming into lambing and are not taking into the lick buckets like other years, if they are in the field and not having them I would think they don’t need them.
 

AYF

Well-Known Member
Feeding them out of a bag I find is best.
Adds work I know. But we stock up with buckets every year. And every year we lose some.
Start feeding and losses stop. You know they are there eating that way.
Doesn't need to be much. I was putting out about 300g a head of nuts to twins.
Bit more for younger ewes.

The problem with mag is it's bitter and unpalatable. So buckets with any decent amount of it will be ignored in favour of grass.
 

Irishfarmer

Well-Known Member
Do you have issues with tetany? I have found this year particularly that sheep are well fed coming into lambing and are not taking into the lick buckets like other years, if they are in the field and not having them I would think they don’t need them.
Do you have issues with tetany? I have found this year particularly that sheep are well fed coming into lambing and are not taking into the lick buckets like other years, if they are in the field and not having them I would think they don’t need them.
Unfortunately found a ewe dead this morning with 2 fine lambs. Have crystalix high mag buckets out in the field but the Ewes don't like them. Filled other buckets with sweetened calmag and to be honest I'm starting to doubt whether it's a good practice and hard to tell are they all eating.
 

Irishfarmer

Well-Known Member
Feeding them out of a bag I find is best.
Adds work I know. But we stock up with buckets every year. And every year we lose some.
Start feeding and losses stop. You know they are there eating that way.
Doesn't need to be much. I was putting out about 300g a head of nuts to twins.
Bit more for younger ewes.

The problem with mag is it's bitter and unpalatable. So buckets with any decent amount of it will be ignored in favour of grass.
Yes I'd say you're right, may go back feeding meal here which is not ideal when having good grass but loosing ewes ain't good either
 

AYF

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately found a ewe dead this morning with 2 fine lambs. Have crystalix high mag buckets out in the field but the Ewes don't like them. Filled other buckets with sweetened calmag and to be honest I'm starting to doubt whether it's a good practice and hard to tell are they all eating.
They always have the best lambs!
My daughters ewe 'Patch' died from it this year, two cracking good lambs, and her a young ewe. Fairly gutted about that one! She was alive when I found her, had my staggers kit with me, but she let out her last blest as I finished injecting!!
What about a bolus? I am sure there is a sheep bolus available which is high mag?
There is. Ones we found only claimed to last 3 weeks at most. And bolusing ewes is no fun! Hateful job! Kept finding boluses in the trailer afterwards!
Yes I'd say you're right, may go back feeding meal here which is not ideal when having good grass but loosing ewes ain't good either
They won't need much. And probably not for long either, just whilst they get transitioned from silage to spring grass, don't ask me how long though!
 

Irishfarmer

Well-Known Member
Thanks for replies. Have heard that sweetlics easymag buckets from inform nutrition are supposed to good. Anyone feeding these?
 

Ugo Schtiglitz

Well-Known Member
Have you done any forage analysis or detailed soil tests? I wonder if spreading mag lime or kieserite would help with the balance in the grass?
 

gone

Well-Known Member
Have you done any forage analysis or detailed soil tests? I wonder if spreading mag lime or kieserite would help with the balance in the grass?
Would a heavy spray of Epsom salts onto the grass get the sheep over this cold snap?
Agreed on the longterm, but a sudden cold snap can catch a lot of stock farmers out.
 

Ugo Schtiglitz

Well-Known Member
Would a heavy spray of Epsom salts onto the grass get the sheep over this cold snap?
Agreed on the longterm, but a sudden cold snap can catch a lot of stock farmers out.
Some great work being done with foliar nutrition on grass. There's a member on here who does a lot of foliar applications on grassland who might have more practical experience. With the price of sheep at the moment, it might be worth the investigation.
 

AYF

Well-Known Member
Have you done any forage analysis or detailed soil tests? I wonder if spreading mag lime or kieserite would help with the balance in the grass?
I think the problem with staggers is that the grass can't physically get enough mag up when it gets a spirt of growth in spring.
Not so much that it isn't there.

Don't quote me on that mind you!
 

marco

Well-Known Member
We spread kieserite (mg sulphate) here and mg lime based on an Albrecht soil test which gives you a %ca mg and k. At the least it will let you know which fields to spread the slurry and dung on. IE the ones low in k. Luxury k uptake happens when k% is above soil mg levels.

Spraying on Epsom salts could work too.

Mg flakes (mg Cloride) are so bitter animals don't want to injest them, be that in water or as part of a feed.
 

Ozzy Scott

Well-Known Member
Would a heavy spray of Epsom salts onto the grass get the sheep over this cold snap?
Agreed on the longterm, but a sudden cold snap can catch a lot of stock farmers out.
I would think a application of Epsom salts would get you out of bother on the magnesium side of things in the short term. Fibre is a key problem with tetany. Long term, instead of spending on a bag of nitrogen, a bag of kieserite or ton of mag lime will be a much better investment
 

gone

Well-Known Member
I would think a application of Epsom salts would get you out of bother on the magnesium side of things in the short term. Fibre is a key problem with tetany. Long term, instead of spending on a bag of nitrogen, a bag of kieserite or ton of mag lime will be a much better investment
I was only wondering about emergencies, longterm Mg Lime is the answer in a lot of cases + a more diverse sward? I presume, I hadn't even thought of kieserite, but that makes more sense than epsom salt.
 

marco

Well-Known Member
I would think a application of Epsom salts would get you out of bother on the magnesium side of things in the short term. Fibre is a key problem with tetany. Long term, instead of spending on a bag of nitrogen, a bag of kieserite or ton of mag lime will be a much better investment
Definitely, rank high n grass is no good for any animal, especially lactating ones
 

Irishfarmer

Well-Known Member
Hi folk, well I can safely say that the crystalix high mag buckets which can be used for cattle and sheep are a complete waste of money. Ewes wouldn't go near it at all. I got a couple of sweetlics easy mag buckets and there is definitely a decent chunk gone out of them. Although still not fully convinced. My last method was to purchase whole oats and sprinkle sweetened calmag on top. Fed out of troughs in field. It's a pain in the arse too but for a cold snap it's a bit more dependable. System here is April outdoor lambing. Plenty of good grass in front of freshly lambed ewes so wouldn't be keen for feeding nuts to ewes post lambing. Only for tetany issue it would be a waste of money in my opinion.
 
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