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Pine needles and cattle abortions

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Anonymous

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Hi, It is widely published that pine needles may cause abortions in cows during the third trimester.

However, ....does anyone know anything about the risks of cows eating pine needles when in the first trimester or even when running with the bull? Does it cause early miscarriages too or perhaps even act as a contraceptive?

I am not planning to feed pine needles as such - but several of my paddocks have large pine trees in them and the cattle do like to munch on them every so often.

Any comments would be much appreciated.
Thanks.
 
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Anonymous

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I don't think you will have a problem as long as the cows have adequate forage and access to minerals. Cattle have grazed southern pine forests for many years and I don't think it is a big problem.
 

Roy E. Mosley Jr.

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Well my beeding pasture is full of huge pines and I see my cattle(Herstien) munching on them all the time & they never have had any problem because of them. :cboy:
 

Ellie May

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What about cedar?? I know goats eat them but do cows? I've never seen them try to eat them but if they were would they do anything??
Ellie May
 

D.R. Cattle

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Never had any trouble with pine needles. Ours are Southern Yellow Pine. The cows usually don't graze under them though.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for all your comments. I often hear the same thing, that cattle graze amongst pines with no problems. But then you talk to a vet and they tell you there is always the possiblity (but it seems they would have to eat quite large quantities anyway).

Feeling somewhat more reassured now - thank you!
Jane
 

Oldtimer

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Jane

You may want to check with some other local cattlemen and/or a local vet just to be sure. Where I live we don't have pine trees so don't have any problem, but I'm aware that in other parts of the state it is a major concern. Pine needles can and do cause abortions- although like you I think it is in the later stages of pregnancy and can be controlled by rotational grazing to keep the cattle out of the pine tree areas in the winter months.
 

BLACKPOWER

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A rancher north of me had a train wreck with pine needles a couple years ago. He wasn't feeding the cows enough and they would go up in the trees and eat Ponderosa Pine Needles. They went up in the hills for two reasons 1. He wasn't feeding them enough 2. The problem was compounded because there was snow on the groung and they couldn't graze. This was right around the time he was just starting to calve, calves were born dead or some would be born alive but anemic and weak and die shortly after. He lost around 1/3 of his calves before he figured it out.
 

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