selenium deficiency in beef calves??????? - Homesteading Today
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Old 06/29/05, 12:01 PM
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selenium deficiency in beef calves???????

Hi all!!! this is my first post, just found this site and hope it will be informative. Well we have been having a problem with selenium deficiency in our beef calves this year. this is the first time it has happened and cattle have been raised on this farm for almost a century!!!! This is also the first year we have rasied some purebred angus and that is what has been having the problems( coincidence????) although one was a half breed.

It has been happening to alot of people in the area this year- so perhaps it was something with last years hay crop?????????? I am from Minnesota by the way. Our cattle get way more mineral than they should need, and it does have selenium in it. so i dont know what the heck our problem is. we had 2 small young calves get sick in may- one was down for a week. we gave them shots of ,i beleive it was called BO-SE, and after a few days they got better but they are still lagging behind the rest of the herd. But what really made me mad was that one of our biggest heifer calves died after being sick only 2 days this week and we beleive it was also selenium that was the culprit. it also got shots but apparently they did no good. we also tube fed these calves to keep them hydrated.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please let me know.

Thanks, Dan

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Old 06/29/05, 12:38 PM
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
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I live approximately 5 to 8 miles as the crow flies from a coal fired stream plant that generates electricity. Since this plant was built we have not had a selenium defficiency due to the dumping of the exhaust gases out the stack and subsequent selenium fallout. The utility is currently installing a massive scrubber and I was told that we will have to start adding selenium to the mineral supplement. Could this be happening in your area?

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Old 06/29/05, 02:04 PM
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I'm sorry you are having problems. I went through it a few years ago and it was devastating. Any unusual weather patterns like drought or flooding? Did you happen notice if the properties of your usual supplement were changed? I'm not even so sure that we need to but when our calves are born, we give them a shot of vitamins and selenium. If you've had testing done and it is truly a selenium problem, you should also being seeing more than your fair share of retained placentas. In my area, because it can vary so much from pasture to pasture, we keep a mineral block out that is primarily selenium and that seems to help. I was told that you can give your cows a shot at a certain point in gestation that will cover the calf but I can't remember the specifics because we haven't had a problem since. Perhaps someone else can fill in the blanks on that one.

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Old 06/29/05, 11:09 PM
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Well from now on we are going to give our calves a shot of BO-SE at birth and hopefully that will take care of the problem. that is what we gave the 2 calves that survived it. and the one that died

And maybe we will find a different mineral with a little more selenium in it.

If anyone has any more info on this subject or other things i can do please let me know. And how old of calves this can affect- maybe we need to do something with the rest of the calves now????????? they all look great but so did the rest of them- 1 day they were just sick.

Dan.

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