cows on haygrazer

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I read somewhere that there can be problems when cows eat haygrazer grass and some other grasses of that type. How do the problems occur?
"Haygrazer" and related Soghrum grass species such as "johnsongrass" can have toxic components in the fresh green forage. Our experience with cured, "haygrazer" hay has shown no problems since there is no green forage in the bales.

On the other hand, the "haygrazer" bales can have a lot of stemmy material in them that some cattle won't eat. The same is true of "redtop cane" hay.
mary b":2n22t45f said:
I read somewhere that there can be problems when cows eat haygrazer grass and some other grasses of that type. How do the problems occur?
Biggest problem is after a drought or frost that does not kill it- It will stay in hay if cut under these same conditions. However all the sorgum sudan grasses make a tremendous amount of forage.
My cows had my sudex mowed down to 12 inch high stalks(with no leaves) this past monday, but now it is about ready to graze again and it hasnt rained since they left that patch.
The main concern with Sudex, Sudan, Sorghum, Haygrazer, Johnson grass and all the various related is potential nitrate and/or prussic acid poisoning --- especially if the plants are very drought stressed when eaten green or hayed, or a short time after a killing frost, or after growing for an extended time period of heavily overcast days with virtually no sunshine. Pearl Millet is succeptible to only one of the above, can't remember offhand which it is. If you do a google search for something like "nitrate poisoning in cattle" or "prussic acid poisoning in cattle" you'll get a chance to read a lot about it.
Mary B ---- I would also add that if you have any doubts about the forages in question, either for green grazing or as hay, you should be able to get a test for nitrate, etc. poisoning done pretty readily at your local extension, ag office or possibily a nearby University. In my neck of the woods the test usually runs around $10 to $15 (and they can also test for protein, TDN, etc. while you're at it)
contact your county extension agent. if johnson grass is frosted it will cause problems but when it dries out i have heard it was ok.
My ol' pet Holstein milk cow got out and into some thick, green Johnson grass and as I was quickly driving her on home and away from it, she got "drunker and drunker". She fell over and convulsed. I ran home as fast as I could and came back with a tube from the refrigerator and tubed her. Here she is in the middle of the road, shooting Johnson grass poison out of the oral tube with every seizure now. The country traffic begins to gather. (One trackter). I got the poison out and the cow woke up but was weak. My neighbors pulled her back into my pasture after we took down my fence as there was no way to make it to the gate now. I went to the vet for some injections. The shots helped the cow. As she went to get on her feet, she stepped in a water bucket and broke her foot and refused to get up. I parked my Suburban on the west side of her for shade in the 100 plus heat and the next day she still would not get up. She was a large cow. I gave her a pain shot and she mercifully died. Her insides had been crushed by her weight, she did not die from the poison grass, but a freak accident.

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