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Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1206
Experience:  I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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Can Beef Cattle die from being fed three way bales

Customer Question

Can Beef Cattle die from being fed three way bales
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have had 2 cows die in as many days. Local vet said it was high niacin levels killed them from feeding them the three way feed, which is oats, wheat, & barley cut before it ripens & then bailed. We have about 55 cows & calves in one pasture which is covered in about 1 & one half foot of snow, so are feeding them on the snow packed ground. Have fed it years before with no problems. This year 2 cows died & 3 have slipped their calves. Feed is not moldy at all. What do you think I should do? Update local vet said it was high levels of "Nitrogen" from to much fertilizer? Can that happen?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Local Vet said it was caused from to much fertilizer that the farmer put on his crops, & high level of Nitrogen killed the cattle & also made the cattle abort their calves? Can this be true & if so how do II find out & what can I do to still utilize the feed, such as mixing it with grass bales? Your suggestions Please?
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.

I am so sorry for your current problems with your cattle. Over fertilization of crops is a possible cause of nitrogen toxicity in cattle. The best thing to do is to send your feed material for analysis. If you have a local farm coop/extension agent, often they will come out or lend you the equipment to take core samples from your bales. Once an analysis has been done, they will recommend either dumping the whole lot, or how to cut these bales with a good grass hay to dilute the nitrogen levels. If you should unfortunately loose another animal, you can also send rumen contents, whole blood or an eye for ammonia content analysis. Ammonia is very volatile, so the samples should be frozen immediately after collection.

In the mean time, it would be prudent to just feed the grass bales. Once you know the nitrogen content of your triple bales, you will know how much you can safely feed.

I hope this makes sense & gives you the information you required. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dr Linda. Thank You!! The local Vet said same thing!!!
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome. Sometimes two heads are better than one! I hope you find an answer soon & get this whole thing resolved before you lose anymore animals.

Take care.