Submitted to: International Neotyphodium Grass Interactions
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2004
Publication Date: 5/23/2004
Citation: Aiken, G.E., Tabler, S.F., Looper, M.L., Brauer, D.K., Strickland, J.R. 2004. Management of beef cattle to alleviate fescue toxicosis.. International Neotyphodium Grass Interactions. 5/23/2004, Paper 410
Technical Abstract: Transporting cattle exhibiting symptoms of fescue toxicosis can result in a combination of stresses that often leads to high mortality. A series of experiments conducted at the USDA-ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center evaluated methodologies to reduce the severity of toxicosis and improve health status of cattle prior to being transported. One experiment grazed yearling steers on tall fescue during the spring months to induce toxicosis and then compared between groups that in early summer were placed on eastern gamagrass with those that remained on tall fescue and were fed a 2.27 kg steer-1 d-1 of a concentrate ration. Calves moved to eastern gamagrass, had serum prolactin levels increase from < 20 to > 100 ng ml-1 between d 0 and d 28 and over 80% had lost their rough coats by the end of summer grazing. Another experiment conditioned yearling steers on K31 tall fescue to induce toxicosis and subsequently assigned cattle to pens to evaluate effects of implanting and plane of nutrition on rate of recovery from toxicosis. Rectal temperatures declined to normal temperatures and serum prolactin increased and stabilized within 3 to 4 days following removal from tall fescue. Implanting and plane of nutrition did not influence rates of change in rectal temperature or serum prolactin. Although complete alleviation of fescue toxicosis was unlikely, results indicated removing cattle from tall fescue and excluding tall fescue from their diets for 3 or 4 d can reduce the severity of toxicosis and improve health status.