Although it’s good forage, fescue grass has to be managed well. Veterinarian Buzz Iliff, who practices around Wyoming, Illinois, says that if fescue is not mowed and is allowed to head out in the summer, ergot or another fungus can form, severely affecting cattle that eat it.
In the worst cases, when they have little else to eat except the bad fescue, cattle lose tail switches or hoof claws. But cattle bred between 30 and 90 days can also abort from eating moldy fescue. Cattlemen considering feeding green-chopped corn should have it tested to determine if drought stress has caused higher levels of nitrates.