Helping cattle deal with drought

Helping cattle deal with drought.
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“Drought generates increased poisoning risks for livestock due to reduced availability, timing shifts and physiological changes in the “desired” forages on rangelands and pastures.
Impacts of toxic and poisonous plant consumption can be as obvious as rapid death, as gradual as hair loss, or as discrete as early abortions and/or failing to breed.
Drought reduces the production level and availability of desirable forages causing livestock to be more willing to consume “novelty” plants and/or plants that had a previous negative feedback.
Native toxic plants are not recognized as strange by managers since they had been on-site previously and never generated a problem.
Examples of this might be consumption of Poison Suckleya which greens up on the borders of drying reservoirs (acute and lethal) or consumption of Death Camas sprouting in meadows after grass has thinned out the previous fall.
Drought generates poisoning risk due to shifts in desirable plant production if livestock managers do not shift “turn out” dates to match production.
An example of this situation is cattle moving under coniferous trees and consuming pine needles which contain tannin resulting in abortions.
Drought can cause physiological shifts in normal plants that generate toxic conditions such as forcing plants to pull very hard for nutrients from their roots or disrupting cell structure so that a plant cannot disperse nutrient normally through its vascular system.

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