fescue toxicity and losing tails

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angus9259

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So I'm still trying to figure out why I lose so many tail switches in the summer (and one ear to date). I'm in Michigan so you don't hear much about fescue but the symptoms sure seem to indicate losing circulation. I've included some pics of pasture grasses in my field that look to be fescue but here are a couple interesting points:

1. When they seed, the seed doesn't look like fescue
2. They rarely get above calf height in my fields because I rotationally graze and brushhog after each rotation to knock anything down still standing which seems to imply that I would never have any of the fescue seed that holds the ergot.

Thoughts?






 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Are you losing them now or mid summer? Could it be from getting frozen in the winter? I have lost tail & ears - but from freezing.
I had a lot of brome grass in Kansas and never had any problem with it.
 
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angus9259

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":3owp39c8 said:
Are you losing them now or mid summer? Could it be from getting frozen in the winter? I have lost tail & ears - but from freezing.
I had a lot of brome grass in Kansas and never had any problem with it.

Summer - on pasture. Sometimes the hair itself falls off what looks like a scabby dead stump - othertimes the switch is just there one day and gone the next. I know the theory of cows stepping on them, but I'll be 20% of my herd has no switch.
 

TCRanch

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":2roov3wy said:
Are you losing them now or mid summer? Could it be from getting frozen in the winter? I have lost tail & ears - but from freezing.
I had a lot of brome grass in Kansas and never had any problem with it.
We bale our brome but let the weanlings graze one of the fields from appx Nov-Jan. Never had a problem. But good to know!
 
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angus9259

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TCRanch":3u6ktub8 said:
Jeanne - Simme Valley":3u6ktub8 said:
Are you losing them now or mid summer? Could it be from getting frozen in the winter? I have lost tail & ears - but from freezing.
I had a lot of brome grass in Kansas and never had any problem with it.
We bale our brome but let the weanlings graze one of the fields from appx Nov-Jan. Never had a problem. But good to know!

Not sure that's the problem. Just can't figure out what the problem is. Vet says it looks like ergot fescue poisoning he would see in MO. Doesn't see much in Michigan or with pastures as short as I keep mine. But I don't have a clue.
 
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angus9259

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ALACOWMAN":27os19zs said:
Just wondering.are you still feeding any hay?? Is it local hay?


Hay is all local. Not feeding hay after about May 1. I lose switches on pasture.
 

gdale

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Thought I'd share some pics of a cow we had several years ago that started showing signs of ergot poisoning. We didn't know what it was until the vet came to bangs vaccinate heifers in February and we asked him to take a look at a 'sick' cow we had. Turned out to be ergot poisoning. Ears, nose, eyes, tail, feet, neck, and even upper legs all showed classic signs of sloughing. She calved in April and we took the calf off and then sold her. The calf also showed some subtle signs of ergot poisoning himself, but we managed to raise him on a milk cow and he did okay.








 

TCRanch

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gdale":1hyw1tth said:
Thought I'd share some pics of a cow we had several years ago that started showing signs of ergot poisoning. We didn't know what it was until the vet came to bangs vaccinate heifers in February and we asked him to take a look at a 'sick' cow we had. Turned out to be ergot poisoning. Ears, nose, eyes, tail, feet, neck, and even upper legs all showed classic signs of sloughing. She calved in April and we took the calf off and then sold her. The calf also showed some subtle signs of ergot poisoning himself, but we managed to raise him on a milk cow and he did okay.








Holy cow! Thanks for sharing.
 
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angus9259

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sim.-ang.king":2et0i6eq said:
Keep your pasture clipped so the grass doesn't make seed heads, see if that helps.

That's the mystery of our situation. Pastures are well clipped.
 
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