Dead Cows

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hrbelgians

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I purchased some adjoining land this summer. The former owner was a
grazing person so had it seeded into fescue and I don't know what all.
Here is the problem. Sunday eve (late) I saw I had a dead cow laying
there?? Go out Monday to git rid of her and there is another laying
there and totally out of her head. Rolling her eyes back into head and
stretched out flat with legs sticking straight out and running like
mad??? This cow must have just gone down minutes before I get there as
the ground wasn't even disturbed yet. Called the Vet and he wasn't the
help I was hoping for quick, so standing there debating for a few minutes
this cow all of a sudden relaxes and dies right there??? :???: So I made a
quick decision to get the rest of the cows off that ground NOW!!
Haven't had a problem since. Is it the fescue??? If so how do I get rid
of it??
Thanks for any tips here!!!!
 

dun

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I doubt very seriously if it is the fescue. How long have the cows been on the field? When was the fescue established, has it been recently fertilized? What age are the cows, have you had a lot of rain causing erosion recently?
 
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hrbelgians

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The cows have been in that field for 30 days. Grass was ther for 7 years. :?: 1 cow was 3 year old the other 10. Yes lots of rain however this field is not muddy as it still has 6 - 8" of grass. However now that you mention I do have a puddle in the corner from my neighbor??? :?:
 

dun

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Too me, but I'm just an old fart 500 miles away it sounds like they got into something toxic. The puddle could be suspect depending on what the water ran through to get to where it accumulated. The erosion question was if maybe something had become exposed like old batterys, pesticide bottles, etc. or something they could have licked. I would have the vet post the latest one, send of samples to the university or something. You sure can;t just abandon a good pasture. If it's something they were exposed of getting rid of the fescue sure isn;t the solution. Could there be some type of grass/plant that is toxic after it has been stressed? There are some that get high in nitrates/nitrites(?) when stressed.
 
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hrbelgians

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Thanks for the ideas Dun,
Maybe I was jumping to conclusions too quick? I had thought about the water, but the water supply for them is a pond and within 100' from this puddle, so thought that must not be the problem as it would get the same run off??? And always hearing people state about the old Fescue, so I figured I am another victim of the old product.
P.S. I have a lot of respect for old farts that have been through lots of things and don't care where they are from. :nod: They usually have good input!!
So thanks again Dun. :D :D
 

dun

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The "old" fescue when properly managed isn;t near as bad as the univeritys and seed producers of the newer cultivars claim. They're both trying to justify their jobs. This time of year stockpiled fescue is at it's least toxic stage. Part of the issue with fescue is cows not being acclimated (poor choice of words but I can;t think of any better one) can have serious problems at most anytime. Cows that are acclimated to it (see caveat above) may have some problems but not nearly as serious or obvious. Our cows actaully get fat on the stuff over winter, that includes stockpiled and hay cut during the summer. The clover that would help dilute it isn;t growing anymore so all they have is fescue in one form or another. Since this place was originally planted with fescue around 75-80 years ago and the only reseeding I've done has been from seed grown on this place I would think ours is about as nasty as it could be. Yet the cows do well on it. Cows brought in from IA need about 2-3 years to get to the point that they don;t fall off pretty badly during the summer and really get into good condition over the winter. Heifers raised here rarely have a problem even as 2 year old raising a calf. Maybe adapted is a better term but I'm too lazy to go back and change the earlier parts.
I would be looking for an outside source of the problem and have the most recent dead one posted. Personally, I wouldn;t put the cows back onto that particular pasture till I figured out what the problem was.
Eliminating fescue, particularly the old KY31 type is kind of like throwing away a hand full of fly paper. It can be done but it's hard to do.
 

GMN

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A good way tof ind out would have been a necropsy. Are there any acorn trees around that field, these are toxic to cows, they love to eat them, and they pack there rumen, and can cause death.

One plant that comes to my mind is Johnson grass which is toxic to cattle at a certain stage. Being you had the cows on that field for 30 days, and all of the sudden 2 died, and then you moved the rest and no more became sick, I would think whatever the toxin was in was very fast acting.

GMN
 

dieselbeef

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if acorns are toxic to cows(i dont know they might be but) then fl is in alot of trouble. every pasture down here is full of oaks. lot of the variety's that have acorns...how do ya think we deer hunt
 

GMN

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dieselbeef":v88xac6f said:
if acorns are toxic to cows(i dont know they might be but) then fl is in alot of trouble. every pasture down here is full of oaks. lot of the variety's that have acorns...how do ya think we deer hunt

Do a search on this board for acorns/acorn poisoning and you will find some useful info.

GMN
 

Wewild

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GMN":2srzzewi said:
AOne plant that comes to my mind is Johnson grass which is toxic to cattle at a certain stage. Being you had the cows on that field for 30 days, and all of the sudden 2 died, and then you moved the rest and no more became sick, I would think whatever the toxin was in was very fast acting.

GMN

Johnson grass left with the first frost here.
 

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