White clover bloating

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5 years 1 week ago #545936 by bbridge
Hi, we’ve recently turned a field which held 400 olive trees into a paddock for stock (only planning 2). It’s roughly 2.5 acres. We sprayed it out once the trees were gone and then replanted through quite an experienced local guy here. Now that the paddock has grown there is a LOT of white clover in it which I initially thought was a good thing, until I heard it can cause bloating, and death in extreme cases. So now I’m wondering what to do. Do I just strip graze when I get them in there to limit the clover? Do I try to kill some of it off? Do I just leave it as is.... obviously prefer not to respect anything at this stage! Many thanks

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5 years 1 week ago #545938 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic White clover bloating
A good question.
Do you know what clover or frothy bloat looks like? If not, the left side swells rapidly, the cow tries to pee and poo, it then lies down, and can die in 30 minutes after the start of the bloating up.
Start by talking to your vet about an effective drench or water trough additive.
The biggest risk occurs when the cattle are hungry so gorge themselves, so attempt to let them have as much food as they want. I would break feed the paddock, and feed them pasture (not clover) hay while you are moving the break. Feed them enough hay so that they don't get hungry, and break through the hot wire.
Keep a stabbing implement close at hand. I have a large plastic syringe with a big gauge needle on it, which I should have had when one of our cows got an apple stuck just before the rumen.
There is quite likely a genetic factor to bloat susceptibility, so watch for the animal that always blows up first. When you see it starting to swell then get the herd off the clover.
You may have clover cultivars that cause less foaming than the bad ones, so carefully test the animals on the pasture. By feeding out pasture hay on the clover paddock you are likely to get grasses rapidly taking over from the clover if the fertility of the soil is more right for grass than for clover.
Animals that die of bloat can be used for dog meat if the butcher gets to them soon after death.

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5 years 1 week ago #545945 by VioletFarmer
Replied by VioletFarmer on topic White clover bloating
We have minimal white clover, but one paddock of 70% red clover. We strip graze it year round, we have 12 sheep and caught two last year in early stages of bloat. We put them both in our sheep pen (no grass) with water and hay over night, after massaging their tummies twice (by folding one front leg at a time up towards the tummy & pushing gently inwards for 2-3 mins, then repeating on the other side). It often makes them burp a few times, which helps to relieve the gas. Strip graze it with supplemental hay, and if you are going to have cattle, like LR said, you can get a bloat oil to help and a trough treatment as well. Make sure you have an electric fence that can be set to 6-7 volts to start with, as not all stock you buy in are respectful of fences & the biggest risk with clover is stock getting through the fence and having a guts on it, especially when it is wet from rain/ dew or irrigation. Our sheep are trained from birth to respect portable electric fencing, there is only one rascal lamb who always know when the fence is off & charges through.

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5 years 1 week ago #545962 by muri
Replied by muri on topic White clover bloating
My underlying grasses are all clover and I have never had an issue. If you are really concerned, feed your cattle hay or baylage first thing in the morning so they are not so hungry and eat slower when they go onto the clover,
I think that might be one way of handling the clover issue

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5 years 5 days ago - 5 years 5 days ago #546028 by cowvet
Replied by cowvet on topic White clover bloating
As a sheep farmer and clover farmer and a vet I would say this .... the only time we have had problems with sheep on pure white clover is when they were put on it with empty guts after being in the wool shed for shearing ... questionable history of vaccination (store
Lambs) and they were obvious pulpy kidney deaths. I would be more concerned with bloat in cattle.
Dont think Ive ever seen “bloat” as
the primary problem in sheep ... many disease have bloat as a symptom but its not the primary problem


I love animals...they're delicious
Last edit: 5 years 5 days ago by cowvet.

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