Bloat occurs when the eructation mechanism is impaired or inhibited and the rate of gas production exceeds the animal’s ability to expel the gas. This can kill the animal as a result of the pressure on the internal organs.
There are two types of bloat:
Bloat risk is greatest on pastures with the following factors.
To minimise the risk from bloat.
A lush dense sward of red clover (often a silage aftermath) can cause bloat in cattle. In this situation a ring feeder of straw or haylage should be offered to dilute the effects of gas build up from grazing only red clover. The bloat risk to sheep appears to be minimal.
Red clover and breeding sheep – all red clovers contain anti-oestrogens. This radically affects the breeding performance of ewes and they should not be grazing red clover 6 weeks pre-tupping and 6 weeks post-tupping.
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