Combating the Negative Effects of Feeding Fescue Forages

Posted on May 6, 2014

Combating the Negative Effects of Feeding Fescue Forages

Fescue is almost a super grass. It is highly drought tolerant; it is extremely productive and grows well under a wide temperature range. In areas with mild winters it will provide forage almost year around. Although forage quality may not be as high as some other grasses it works quite well for cow-calf operations. The biggest drawback to fescue is fescue toxicity. The cause of the toxicity is the same fungus that causes ergot in cereal grains. In humans, ergot poisoning is life threatening. In cattle death loss is uncommon but there are physiological changes that seriously impair cattle performance. The primary action is constricting of blood vessels. During periods of extreme cold blood flow to the extremities may be impaired resulting in gangrene of the hoof and/or tail. Summer heat stress can also cause restriction of blood flow to the extremities and impairs the animal’s ability to cool itself. A normal sight during the summer months for cattle grazing fescue is to see the cattle standing in ponds, streams or hunting a shade tree.

Whitestone Feeds now has available two proprietary products that will effectively aid in lessening the symptoms of fescue toxicity. These products utilize some natural plant extracts which help expand the blood vessels and lower body temperature, also aid in digestive performance and have organic trace minerals, oligosaccharides and enhanced vitamin levels to aid the immune system. The Whitestone Feeds Fescue Fighter minerals will offer the producer a way to maintain production in the face of fescue toxicity.

For more information about the Whitestone Feeds Fescue Fighter minerals and for copies of the feed tags, use the Contact Us page to forward your information.