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Old 31st May 2007, 06:11 PM   #1
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Animals Eating Baling Twine

We are usually very careful to not feed the baling twine to the stock. However today one of the strings made it over the fence, and the ravenous bull managed to down it before I could get over the fence and retrieve it. Does anyone know what the outcome will be? Does the twine get stuck in the rumen? Does it eventually "come to pass" ? Should I be phoning the vet?
Old 31st May 2007, 06:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site, ngapouri hopefully one of the more experienced folk will be here soon with some info and hopefully reassurance.

Me? My steers only eat fencing staples
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Old 31st May 2007, 07:09 PM   #3
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Hi Ngapouri, welcome to the site from me too I've never had that problem. If you don't have some help from someone here by the morning, I'd phone the vet and ask them.

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Old 31st May 2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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Very probably there will be absolutely no problems. When they used to use wire to tie up bales (remember that? ......) that could cause some problems. It should come out in 3 or 4 days, so keep a good eye on the animal for the next week, and if it goes off it's food then you might need vet assistance.
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Old 31st May 2007, 07:53 PM   #5
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We are going away for the weekend, swapping house with my townie sister and brother-in-law. We will have to leave detailed instructions on how to distinguish the bull from the cows, I suppose. My suspicion is that while it is not advisable to have them eat too much of the stuff it has probably been tested on animals and a little bit should do no harm.
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Old 31st May 2007, 07:58 PM   #6
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Do not under any circumstances try to pull the baling twine back out of the animals mouth.. if you had made it in time to see it disappearing down their throat. Cut it off where you can and know they are better to ingest it, pass it etc than you interfering - as told to me by a Vet. Hope that info is still correct! It happens i.e. baling twine accidentally left in the fed out hay - no doubt has happened to all of us over the years - and I have never lost an animal yet. Never seen the twine either, post ingestion, but I KNOW it has happened.

As Longridge said - you will know if there is a problem but in my experience, as said, you don't need to go out with a torch on the hour. Chances are that they will pass it without incident.

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Old 31st May 2007, 10:03 PM   #7
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Thanks Didi. Sounds like we can relax a bit. Just needed that reassurance.
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Old 31st May 2007, 11:03 PM   #8
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One piece shouldnt be a problem,but anymore you could have problems ,when it gets down in their stomach it is rolled back and forth and side ways forming itself into a ball ,if the ball isnt very big then it could well pass it ,but if the ball cant be passed ,you will notice that the animal is off its feed ,has LBM ,and loosing weigh very quickly.We have had several cows die from ingestting the plastic rope used for tieing up sacks ,as we make our own feeds ,we accumulate a lot of this platic tie rope the workers have been told many times that the accumulation has to be burnt ,and they are to stand there to make sure it is burnt ,but they threw it out and didnt burn it ,Several cows went off their feeds and had LBM ,nothing we did seemed to work to cure them ,eventually they died ,we cut them open and found That the plastic ties had formed themselves into a big ball iside each of them.Needless to say the workers involved got the DCM ,but that didnt help the cows
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Old 31st May 2007, 11:12 PM   #9
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Ngapouri, if it makes you feel any better, my stock has got at the odd bit of baling twin that I haven't known about and I've found it, sometimes months later, all coiled up in a pile of crap. And even more astounding are the plastic bags that end up the same way. No, I don't throw my rubbish all over the paddocks but the passing public does I think you'll find your bull will pass it without too much trouble.

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Old 31st May 2007, 11:20 PM   #10
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Our bull gobbled a string of baling twine with his hay before I could grab it, but it didn't do him any harm. It should just go through the system and out the other end. So I wouldn't worry about it. Our cows must eat at least half a dozen strings in a season that I don't manage to grab out of the hay before they eat it. Its never caused any problems.

The plastic wrapping from hay bales is a different story though. I know of one steer that filled his stomach up with the plastic and of course it stays there. The owners couldn't work out what was wrong with the animal when it started losing weight. They tried drenching it, but it continued to loose weight until they decided to shoot it. It wasn't until a post mortem, that they found all the plastic wrapping in its stomach.
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Old 1st June 2007, 09:16 AM   #11
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I'v found chewed up balls in the paddock, not surrounded by the proverbial, and wonder if it comes back up when they chew their cud and they spit it out?
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Old 1st June 2007, 10:09 PM   #12
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About 4 years ago I was worried sick when I saw a piece of twine going slowly down a cows mouth. But I shouldn't have bothered worrying as we still have the cow and shes fine.

I remember reading somewhere that cows eat almost anything in the paddock and you would be surprised what goes in...then out.

Since the day I saw the twine getting gobbled up, I have occasionally found very chewed, obviously come from somewhere yucky, twine in the paddock. I am so careful but obviously they found some somewhere.

So I wouldn't worry to much. Maybe keep an eye on her for a few days just keep your mind at rest.

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