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Author Topic: Grass staggers  (Read 6545 times)


  • Joined May 2011
Grass staggers
« on: May 04, 2012, 04:02:31 pm »
Need some more info guys !!
I feed this morning to find my soay with twins (1month old )unsure on her feet, looked as though she has weak limbs.
I have read through some posts on here and I think she may have grass staggers ?
We have rough grazing here and she has a mineral lick in the field .
 I phoned the vet this morning to ask for some caliject and to pick his brains but he wasn't available I myself had to have an MRI scan at hospital this morning all i could do was leave him a message.
I called after my MRI and he'd left me out there version of caliject, so I have collected this and gave her it at lunchtime ...... Went to check her just now and she just looks dazed, she's eating but when I had her at lunch I checked and she's not got much of a bag on her and it's a little squiggy/ emptyish feeling, I could't get any milk out.....but I know sometimes they don't let milk down for us humans  :)
I am really worried I am not doing something I should be  ???, any more advice ?, twins both look healthy but I did see wee ewe lamb try for a drink but not actually get any ......HELP, please , I adore my wee sheep.
Sorry for the long thread, tried to give as much info as I could, away out now to prepare outside stable incase you guys think she'd be better in there with the twins ??
Advice very welcome  :)


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 04:39:54 pm »
Bringing her in will help you keep an eye on her, feed her some cake etc.

Calciject is good stuff, if it's grass staggers she's short of magnesium which you can get a specific jag for tho calciject has some in. Staggers is much more 'collapsed and thrashing about' and dead in no time however, so I think you're probably nearer the mark with calcium deficiency, which is what calciject is for. Twins, growing well, are quite demanding. How old is she? Have you had a cold snap where the grass might have stopped growing for a day?

You can repeat the calciject if necessary and if you get some concentrate into her she should be fine.


  • Joined May 2011
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 05:07:27 pm »
Thanks jaykay, that's what i'll  do, she only 2, but yes we've had quite a bit of frost !!!!
I'll bring her in with lambs and she can have some tlc with haylage and feed, then I csn lso be sure twins are gettng fed  :)
Thank you  :thumbsup:


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Port O' Menteith, Stirlingshire
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 05:17:40 pm »
Keep on with the calciject, I often warm it first. Is it the glucose containing (CMD6) or just straight calcium?
It's always worse for someone else, so get your moaning done before they start using up all the available symathy!


  • Joined May 2011
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 05:34:20 pm »
It is called 20%w/v pmd !!!,, says 400ml contains 5.92 g calcium provided by calcium gluconate and calcuim borogluconate.....1.84g magnesium provided by magnesium hypophosphite, 80g glucose provided by glucose monohydrate !!!!!!!! Copied from bottle  :P, I've given 50ml, how often would you give it ? It was warm to body heat  ;)
Thanks Dougal


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 05:36:00 pm »
I can only point you at the cribsheet our vet produced :

I hope she recovers ok  :bouquet:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 05:56:47 pm »
Good to understand the difference Sally  :thumbsup: tho I note the initial treatment both before and after is 60ml blue top - which is easy, one bottle in the bike pocket  :)

Lochbyre I think you've done/are doing all the right things and she sounds like she wasn't too far gone so I'm sure she'll pick up  :-*


  • Joined May 2011
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 06:15:07 pm »
ThAnks everyone, just waiting for OH to come home with the quad and we'll go get her x


  • Joined May 2011
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 08:28:12 pm »
Well I managed to catch my wee soay, Tess, but can't catch her lambs  ::)
So I have taken her up haylage and mix and she was tucking into that when I left, lambs bouncing around as though nothing is wrong   ::)


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 05:53:28 am »
If she's eating nicely and the lambs are bouncing around, all sounds well  :thumbsup:


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 07:16:04 am »
Yes, bouncing sounds good!  If they weren't getting feed, they would be sluggish.  Fingers crossed they are better today. 


  • Joined May 2011
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2012, 02:45:25 pm »
Thanks everyone just away up to check them again shortly wasn't much change this morning but we'll see x


  • Joined May 2011
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 12:12:16 pm »
Ok so a wee update, hopefully some advice from you guys  ;D

Tess is eating as much as I give her, she seems quite normal apart from her wee front legs they look a little weak  ???
I have jagged her twice now with the 50mls of the vets jag , the second time I did it she bounced straight up like a lamb and then very quickly collapsed down, i sat with her for a few minutes and she them got up and walked off as if nothing had happened. I am very confused and wonder if she is just stuggling with her twins ?, she doesn't have a big bag of milk and they seem to be constantly eating grass, I haven't seem either drink from her in the last few days, although they don't look weak or tucked up.

I will check her again once I am in from work at 4 today and do you think I should jag her again ? or maybe give her a shot of antibiotics ? or both........if I could catch the lambs I would bring them all in, but they are sooooo quick and they are in a 10 acre field !!!!!

Any ideas ?

Thanks, Susan x


  • Joined May 2010
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 12:35:39 pm »
Hi Susan  :wave:  I think you do need to bring them all in so Tess can have some extra feeding, as she is clearly struggling to feed her twins, also just to be able to watch her close to.   Can you move them all into a smaller paddock, then catch them from there?  How do you normally catch the flock to treat them?  Trying to chase Tess and her lambs will be stressful all round and may well precipitate a collapse, so by bringing the whole flock in quietly you will save that stress.  You would never catch all three by chasing anyway.
The heading is grass staggers but I don't think she will have that as it's usually caused by sudden lush grass, especially as a result of the application of artificial fertilisers, and the pic you posted earlier showed your grass to be coarse, rough grazing.  This might mean that she isn't getting enough new grass to produce milk for twins.  Or it could be something totally different. So if she were mine, I would bring her in to a tiny paddock if you have one, or a large pen, and supply her with ad lib hay, a high energy licky bucket - Crystalix provides all the minerals needed but WCF sugar corn provides an extra boost of sugar (I use both for the lambing ewes), some concentrate such as Tup & Lamb, water in one of those drinkers which hangs on the rails, so lambs don't fall in, and any greens such as willow, cow parsley, clover and grass to help with milk production.
Using Calciject brings about a magical 'cure' within about 20-30 mins, but you have to back that up with extra feeding or she will then go right back down.
Watch her closely and see if she really does have something wrong.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 12:39:02 pm by Fleecewife »
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.


  • Joined May 2011
Re: Grass staggers
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 01:01:02 pm »
Thanks Juliet,
They usually will all come into the hurdles with there feed trough in the hurdles i just shut the hurdles and thats it, but her lambs are so busy eating grass they don't seem to care if I catch her !!!! they are so quick and like you say I don't want to start chasing  ::)
I have a small penned off area in the pony paddock next to the sheep field which would be ideal for them but I think I would like to bring her into the stable first if poss to watch her and as you say feed her up a bit. I am also scared of the fox in a small paddock I lost a lamb last year to mr fox  :'( in the wee paddock beside our house.
Do you think I should be trying to top the lambs up ? or just leave them as they are ?
They don't seem thin or tucked up but are def. no where near as big as Rose and Dorcus's lambs who were singles and not quite as lively either , I know twins will always be smaller.
Yes they have the lick you mention in there field already and all use it, grass is rough grazing on the hillside but does have new shoots coming through but I think as you say not enough for twins maybe ?! I have been taking hayalge up to them in this cold spell but they don't want it prefering instead to new grass.
I will try again tonight then to catch her for some tlc , no I agree it's not grass staggers having now read up on it more.
All sheep will be moved to the field which is being re-seeded for lambing next year so I'll watch out then ! good to collect all this information.
Thanks xx



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