Seed heads do they digest or just pass toxic fescue

Help Support CattleToday:

KMURBAN

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
45
Reaction score
0
Location
S.W., Wisconsin
I hear a lot of conflicting information about weather seed heads will just pass and grow, and some say they digest and it's a myth feeding them seed will reseed pastures ?

Part of the reason I'm asking is there really a threat if cattle eat toxic fescue seed heads ?

I've also heard to be digested they need to be cracked or broken, and won't digest if whole and good condition.

Can someone clear this up for me...

Thanks...
 

Son of Butch

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2010
Messages
7,493
Reaction score
1,267
Location
Frost Bite Falls, Minnesota
35 years ago Moorman Feeds recommended to my uncle to finish steers on a self feeder containing whole shell corn
mixed with their pellet. The steers gained well, the grain flowed better from the self feeder than with ground corn
and the Moorman's feed man claimed all the nutrients were being digested from the whole kernels.

But I asked... then why is there corn growing in the steer lot?
It wasn't a lot, but some kernels obviously passed through undigested, sprouted and grew.
Based on that I'd say most are digested but some escape and reseed.
 

wbvs58

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
5,883
Reaction score
1,021
Location
S.E. Queensland, Australia
I don't really know but I think a lot of the bulk of the seed is in the form of energy and nutrient for the seedling to grow just like an egg with the yolk and white. I would think that a lot of that could be digested by the animal but still leave the embryo intact so if it landed in a favorable spot like in manure a few could survive??????????

Ken
 

ALACOWMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
16,916
Reaction score
29
Location
Alabama the Beautiful
Feeding good clean seeds some will digest.. Some will pass through.. But even if a toxic seed passes through they will most likely absorb the fungus..we have that to deal with along with Dallas grass..
 

jerry27150

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
30
Location
northern missouri
hard seeds will pass through & grow, never seen fescue do it. lespedeza ,hard seed of trefoil. honey locust will pass through & grow. fescue seed will grow where seed falls out of the hay you feed
 
OP
K

KMURBAN

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
45
Reaction score
0
Location
S.W., Wisconsin
Well, that clears up all the confusion. Yes, no, maybe, and it depends.
That may sound sarcastic, but its not. Now I actually see why.
Thanks...
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,304
Reaction score
1,200
Location
Central Upstate New York
OK - I had an article in my newsletter in November about frost seeding. It discussed FEEDING seeds (like red clover in mineral or in a grain formula).
Here is a section from the article:
"The ruminant digestive tract is a very intense system that contains microorganisms capable of digesting fiber, rapid changes in pH, high temperatures, the grinding pressure of ruminal contractions, and repeated opportunity for chewing during rumination. To study the impact of passage through the digestive system on seed viability, fecal samples were taken from cattle consuming mineral containing either coated or uncoated seeds.

After passage, the average viability of fed seeds ranged from 0 to 14 percent. Coated seeds had a lower average viability after passage, which is also suspected to be due to the moisture holding capacity of the coating. The reduction in seed viability from 96 percent out of the bag to 14 percent out of the animal is a clear hindrance on the success of this method."


Although this is not what you are asking, it gives you an idea how little will germinate and then survive.
 
OP
K

KMURBAN

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
45
Reaction score
0
Location
S.W., Wisconsin
Jeanne - Simme Valley":2prxdcgh said:
OK - I had an article in my newsletter in November about frost seeding. It discussed FEEDING seeds (like red clover in mineral or in a grain formula).
Here is a section from the article:
"The ruminant digestive tract is a very intense system that contains microorganisms capable of digesting fiber, rapid changes in pH, high temperatures, the grinding pressure of ruminal contractions, and repeated opportunity for chewing during rumination. To study the impact of passage through the digestive system on seed viability, fecal samples were taken from cattle consuming mineral containing either coated or uncoated seeds.

After passage, the average viability of fed seeds ranged from 0 to 14 percent. Coated seeds had a lower average viability after passage, which is also suspected to be due to the moisture holding capacity of the coating. The reduction in seed viability from 96 percent out of the bag to 14 percent out of the animal is a clear hindrance on the success of this method."


Although this is not what you are asking, it gives you an idea how little will germinate and then survive.


That's exactly what I'm asking, With some science to back it up as well, fescue toxicity was just a afterthought if they weren't being digested. Though it seems seed type is a variable also. Thank you...
 

wbvs58

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
5,883
Reaction score
1,021
Location
S.E. Queensland, Australia
Clover seed is a lot different to fescue seed. Most clovers have a hard seed component so they stagger their germination. If you were to plant clover under ideal conditions a certain component would not germinate until following years, part of survival adaptation if they meet tough times. If you plant fescue you could have 98% germinate immediately, usually printed on the label the germination test results.

Ken
 

Latest posts

Top