Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

Latest News


March 6, 2017

Following the recent deluge of rain we have seen pasture composition change rapidly over the past few weeks. Pasture has gone from poor quality/high Dry Matter/high fibre, to high quality/low Dry Matter/low fibre.

While the majority of farms are now seeing milk volume rising, this rapid change in dietary composition has increased the risk of the following problems (on farms where long stem fibre has not been supplemented):

  • Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA) – Cows look ‘slabby’ and seem disinterested in feed.
  • Gut infections, such as Salmonella – Symptoms range from milk drop and depression and may lead to death.
  • Displaced fore stomachs (left and right displaced Abomasum) & twisted bowel – Cows can present with colic or even just a sudden drop in milk volume.
  • Metabolic disease – Rapidly growing fresh grass similar to the composition of spring-grown pasture has reduced concentrations of Magnesium and Calcium relative to mature grass. The use of Zinc for Facial Eczema prevention will also be binding calcium making matters worse.


Pasture is a highly variable forage that changes composition under certain weather conditions. Cows need time to adapt to different feeds and can easily be upset when composition of the pasture changes rapidly.

Please contact the clinic on 07 888 8197 if you have any concerns you wish to discuss, or would like investigated further.