Young steer dead

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townfarmer

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We recently had a young steer about 14 months of age die. He was unwell for several weeks prior very lethargic, sluggish and he lost a bit of weight. Weren't sure what it was that killed him. We have several patches of bracken fern on our place which I've recently discovered is poisonous to cattle.

Is this a likely cause of death?
Has anyone had problems from cattle ingesting bracken fern?
Is bracken fern something we should be trying to eradicate?

Thanks
Andrew
 

greatgerts

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Did you happen to have a vet out to look at him? If he had been sick for several weeks, I hope that you did.
If you did in fact call the vet, what was his diagnosis?
If you did not call the vet and just left the steer go, I will refrain from any other comments.
 

grannysoo

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Jogeephus":20l2skgp said:
I have a lot of bracken fern in the woods and am able to graze the woods without any major problems. Problems seem to arise if I push the grazing in the woods and do not rotate them out quick enough. Here is some good infor on this.

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index ... 210400.htm

Same here. The bracken fern is sort of like the pine tree needles here. The cows will eat them if they don't have anything else. As Jo said, you've got to get them away from it before all of the other forage is gone. Both of them will kill.
 
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townfarmer

townfarmer

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Did you happen to have a vet out to look at him? If he had been sick for several weeks, I hope that you did.
If you did in fact call the vet, what was his diagnosis?
If you did not call the vet and just left the steer go, I will refrain from any other comments.

He wasn't sick sick. He was up walking around but a bit sluggish. At the time due to our inexperience we weren't concerned. We assumed it was a virus or something. The week before he died we were away from the property. We certainly didn't refrain from calling a vet to save money or because we didn't care. If any of our cattle were to have similar symptoms now we would certainly get the vet out quick smart. We were slow to pick up on his weight loss due to 1. our inexperience assessing cattle condition and 2. he's a highland so the shaggy coat masks it hard to assess. It was only later comparing photos we noticed the weight loss. It was unfortunate but we'll learn from our errorrs. That's life. :frowns:
 

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