Livestock Health after a Flood

 

Pastureland

  • Standing water may have ruined some pastures.
    1. Lack of adequate forage could force animals to eat poisonous plants which are abundant in some parts of the country.
    2. Remove fallen wild cherry limbs from pastures to prevent livestock poisoning.
  • Before restocking flooded pastures, remove debris, especially along fence lines and in corners. Livestock could be injured from pieces of barbed wire, sharp metal and trash.

Feed and Water

  • Provide clean, uncontaminated water.
  • Inspect feeds such as corn, wheat and hay.
    1. Damaged grains and moldy hay may cause digestive disturbances.
    2. Horses, sheep, poultry, swine and cattle are affected most severely (in that order) by damaged feed.
    3. Do not force livestock to eat silage that has been flooded, even though its appearance may be unchanged.
    4. Do not feed any feed or forage that may have been contaminated by chemicals or pesticides.

Disease Control

  • Following a flood there may be danger of infectious diseases in livestock, but unless serious outbreaks of infection have occurred recently there is no need to be alarmed. Observe these precautions:
    1. Where large numbers of animals assemble, watch for any sign of infectious diseases such as pneumonia, foot rot or leptospirosis.
      1. These diseases are more likely to occur where cattle are crowded on wet ground and where horn flies and houseflies are abundant.
      2. If possible, an experienced stockman under the supervision of a veterinarian should handle and feed the animals.
    2.  Promptly report any sign of disease to the nearest veterinarian or County Extension Agent.
    3. Contact a veterinarian about vaccinating animals for immunity from flood-related diseases such as anthrax, lepto, blackleg and swine erysipelas.

Excerpt from UF/IFAS Disaster Handbook

 

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