If an area has suffered a flood there may be a shortage of food available for livestock. This can be very stressful to the animals, especially young and pregnant ones.
It’s vital to feed them nutritious fodder, but it may not be available. In that case fodder that’s suffered water damage may be used until a better food source is secured.
It’s important to keep some important information though.
Sodden silage may blacken with mold and mildew. It may develop a strong odor as well. If it’s necessary to feed water damaged silage to the livestock you should feed them whole bales. That way they will be able to pick which areas are edible.
Some water damaged hay may be usable if parts of it are dry.
Wet hay is a health risk to both humans and livestock. It may also rot and collapse under the weight of the hay stacked on it. Remove dry hay from upper stacks if possible. Wet bales can be stacked on top of dry bales to dissipate heat.
Follow the same recommendations as for Shedded Hay.
Water Damaged Silage
Damaged silage may have been contaminated by manure and dead tissue. Soil born botulism is always a possibility. Silage that’s developed mold should not be feed to pregnant livestock, sheep, or horses. Feed moldy silage only as a last resort. It may cause liver damage or other illness.
Signs Of Toxicity
Symptoms of toxicity from water damaged feed include:
- weight loss
- lack of appetite
- swollen, red ears, muzzles, and white skin that dries cracks, and peels
- abdomen distention
- pregnancy termination
Botulism may cause animals weakness and an inability to eat or drink but otherwise appear normal.
If you think that livestock is suffering signs of toxicity from damaged fodder you should contact a veterinarian immediately.