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Thread: Possible Botullism risk?

  1. #1
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    Possible Botullism risk?

    On saturday my kids were carpet farming before lunchtime when the shouts came downstairs about a Fendt and round baler in field across the road so to satisfy them we had to go investigate. 718 and Fusion 3 in small field...... kids satisfied after seeing a few bales made.
    However when wandering round after baler I noticed an awful lot of slugs making their way about the field. This has had me thinking this past few days as to the possible contamination risk in the grass being baled up. Now it wasn't top quality stuff by any means, as much buttercup as grass but that's not the point...... What's the chances of slugs in the bales and how many and what level of slug contamination would be needed for it to pose a risk to the animals eating it.
    It's not mine but I know whose it is.

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    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Why would slugs be associated with botulism?
    I thought it was going to be about dried up slurry still clinging to the grass.
    Assume this is silage bales so the acidity will pickle them anyway, probably quite tasty.

    I remember reading tales of cows seeking out odd things to chew on and apparently relishing - like dried up dead moles or rabbits from bales, with no ill effects.

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here, I thought that with the blood and body being contained within the bales would pose some sort of contamination risk. Seem to remember that someone in Wales had a problem with a pit of silage being contaminated by a corpse from broiler manure or dead wild animals going through the harvester and being spread all over silo by buckrake and infecting it this way. Like I said, my train of thought is maybe way off the mark.

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    the bigger risk is stuff that's been dead for a few days/week.. or is putrefied rather than freshly dead stuff.. not sure on slugs, but they'll possibly give cat a fit if it eats one.

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    I would not worry about it too much. A lot of crops on a damp morning or during a period of rainfall when harvested could contain a host of slugs so probably not showing much problem.

    Botulism turns up when chicken muck or animal carcass is collected in silage and spread throughout a clamp. Ie deer hit by mower is then raked up chopped and blown.

    If you have suspected botulism consult your vet and they will know whether a botulism vaccine may be necessary.

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    Senior Member Sam_TM's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulscots View Post
    What's the chances of slugs in the bales and how many and what level of slug contamination would be needed for it to pose a risk to the animals eating it.
    It's not mine but I know whose it is.
    A previous BFF topic thought there was a risk.
    http://farmingforum.co.uk/forums/sho...lugs-in-silage

    & another discussion thought so too - http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...p?t=2056718178
    British Farming Forum on Facebook - www.facebook.com/groups/BritishFarmingForum

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    Senior Member ladycrofter's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Haylage last year was more slugs than grass it looked like at baling. No sign of their remains when feeding and no ill effects to cattle.

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Is there not a greater risk of stomach fluke due to an increased number of slugs in silage or bales?

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Better spray them slugs off. That's usually the answer. I'm off on one. Ignore.

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    I wouldn't worry about the slugs.

    Botulism is usually a result of the toxin produced by Clostridium Botulinum in anaerobic conditions, not the bacterial infection itself, though that can occasionally be serious. The anaerobic condition makes the toxin much more likely in silage than hay. The bacterium is present to some extent in most soils, and it doesn't need animal remains to grow - the worst outbreak in the UK was from hazelnut yoghurt if I remember correctly. Vaccination isn't a 100% effective, but a range of Clostridial bacteria are guarded against by Heptavac and similar vaccines.

    Large amounts of duck crap can be a problem, in that ducks guddle around in areas where Clostridial bacteria are common, and they're usually immune themselves. However, even there, duck poo is far from anaerobic, so there isn't much chance of serious toxin levels, though the bacterium levels may be quite high.

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    Better spray them slugs off. That's usually the answer. I'm off on one. Ignore.
    There isn't a spray which can kill slugs registered for agricultural use, as far as I'm aware.

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    There isn't a spray which can kill slugs registered for agricultural use, as far as I'm aware.
    A couple of ton/acre of table salt should do the trick!!

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    Re: Possible Botullism risk?

    Thanks all for replying, as I said before it was something I was wondering about and if you've gotan itch you may as well scratch it. Don't think from the replies that there's much risk. Thanks again.

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