Jeanne's right. There are a very few areas in North America that have an overabundance of selenium in the soil. We are one of those. There is a small lake about 15 miles southeast of us that is selenium toxic and they're working on ways to clean it up. There are also plants that grow in some areas that concentrate selenium in their leaves and other parts. The cows won't touch the plant - I guess they might if they were starving. Curlycup gumweed is one that comes to mind. The cows weren't eating the plant, so I reasearched it and promptly removed it from the pasture.
Friends in Idaho were having serious problems with their newborn calves until they started injecting them at birth with either BoSe or MuSe (can't remember which) and that solved their problems.
> There are two products for
> selenium/vit B injections. BoSe
> and MuSe. The BoSe is less
> concentrated and is recommended
> for calves. I don't have the
> label, but I believe it is
> recommended 2.5 to 3.75 per 100#.
> We are in a very deficient area,
> and we give 4 cc per 100#. The
> MuSe is more concentrated is is 1
> cc per 200#. Selenium is toxic so
> be sure your area needs it. Some
> areas have too much selenium in
> the soil. 3 parts per million is
> the right amount allowed sold.
> But, you can special order mineral
> mixes with the amount you want. We
> blood tested our cows several
> times until we settled on 12 parts
> per million. TRIPLE the
> recommended dosage. At this dosage
> year-round, we give BoSe shots at
> birth, then we usually give MuSe
> to the calves during early summer
> when we worm our calves. I feel
> very strongly on providing loose
> mineral/salt mixture year round.
Rafter L Murray Greys