We all know that spring grass boosts yields but we also know that milk quality, particularly butterfat, is reduced along with fertility. The ever present problem of Grass Staggers (Hypomagnesaemia) is always around too. This condition occurs in mature, lactating dairy cows, usually within a few weeks of being moved onto lush grass in the spring. The onset of clinical signs is associated with a sudden fall in the plasma magnesium and calcium concentrations and affected animals may be found dead or in severe trouble. To help overcome some of these problems we feel it is always helpful not to turn your cows out too quickly, provided you have sufficient silage reserves left. It is always a good thing to let your early lactation cows graze a few hours in the day and keep them inside at night with perhaps the mid and late lactation cows going out all the time before giving access to the fresh calvers.

Loss of stock through deaths caused by staggers costs the UK dairy industry millions of pounds every year. Preventing the magnesium imbalance by supplementation is relatively simple and highly cost effective. However, it must be planned and carried out with care and an understanding of the many factors involved in magnesium intake, availability and absorption as well, if clinical losses are to be avoided. Acute hypomagnesaemia, chronic hypomagnesaemia and milk fever are all classic symptoms of low blood magnesium levels brought on by a sudden nutritional deficiency of the mineral.

Within the cow, about 40% of the magnesium is in the soft tissues with the remainder being found in the skeleton which, in adults, is metabolically inert. Of the total body magnesium, only 1% in the extracellular fluid is available to satisfy immediate physiological needs. Because an effective homoeostatic mechanism for the control of magnesium has not yet been identified, adult cattle are totally dependant upon dietary sources to satisfy their day to day requirements and meet any sudden increases in demand.

The cheapest and simplest ways of being sure your stock obtains the magnesium it requires, is by feeding it within the compound feed or blend.

High magnesium minerals based on calcined magnesite require spicing to ensure palatability and because intakes are likely to vary widely between individual animals, free access provision is not recommended. Mineral mixes should alternatively be incorporated into home mixes or mixed amongst palatable TMR diets as a buffer feed.

Magnesium fortified feed blocks or liquids also suffer from the problem of unpredictable and highly variable intakes. Cold wet weather and insufficient feed points will add to intake difficulties. Medicated water supply is another option but remember 'staggers' is of main risk in cold, wet weather when water intakes are at their lowest.

Whichever method you choose to use, start the treatment at least 2 weeks prior to turnout to get the cattle used to the taste. All our dairy compound feeds will have higher levels of magnesium built into them well before turnout.


RUMAGAQUA - Liquid product to be fed at 0.33 litres per cow per day. 0.5 litres for every 10 ewes per day. Minimum delivery is 1000 litres

TECHMAG 4 - Molassed product for use in bulk feeders. To be fed at 0.5 litres per cow per day. 0.60 litres for every 10 ewes per day. 

MAG CHLORIDE FLAKES - 250 grams per cow per day. 1/2 a tonne minimum order. Supplied in 2 kilo bags. Minimum of 500kg delivery

IN FEED HI MAG MINERALS - Feed rate of 150g per cow per day.


HI MAG BUCKETS - As an example, our product contains 750iu/kg of Vitamin E. Check what level you are getting from your current supplier at the moment? We are sure it won't be as high as ours!

A lot of magnesium can be bought for the cost of a dead animal! Ring your usual agent or the office for any further information you may need.

There are strong links between minerals, vitamins and the majority of dairy cow disorders. These can be caused by deficiencies, excessive amounts, imbalances and interactions between minerals.

The overall health status of the herd is of paramount importance for the economic production of all milk and meat. This health is affected to a greater or lesser degree by the mineral and vitamin status of the animal.

We endeavour to ensure that we only supply quality minerals, the majority of minerals supplied on farm by other companies do not include the correct levels of minerals required by the modern dairy cow. If you are buying a cheap mineral, then it almost certainly will not contain the correct levels of mineral that your cows require.

View full details


Feeding rates are estimates, and other factors, such as animal health and environment, can have a greater impact on how animals perform. There is no guarantee that animals will perform as expected if fed the suggested rates. Rations should be balanced to provide enough energy and protein for animals, and they should include enough forage to keep the rumen healthy. Animals also need access to fresh water at all times.