Mouldy Silage, Listeriosis and Sheep!

Frank Mickan is the Pasture and Fodder Conservation Specialist with the Department Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) at Elinbank in Victoria.

"Sheep and mouldy silage do not mix!” says Frank Mickan, Pasture and Fodder Conservation Specialist, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Ellinbank. All forms of silage (pits, bun stacks, round and square bales) are being more commonly used in the extensive grazing industries of beef, sheep, goats, horses, alpacas and even ostriches. This silage has the potential to produce high performance from all classes of animals if conserved early in the season when the pastures are leafy and contain some clover but must be harvested and sealed airtight quickly,

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Silage & Health

Frank Mickan is the Pasture and Fodder Conservation Specialist with the Department Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) at Elinbank in Victoria. 

“Animal and human health problems associated with silage are not very common but when they do occur, they are not quickly forgotten!” says Frank Mickan, Pasture and Fodder Conservation Specialist, DEPI, Ellinbank. Animal health problems can appear as decreased intake and resultant decreased production, abortions, scouring and even death! However despite silage being the obvious and guilty party in many cases, it is also the scapegoat for many not so obvious causes, bit like snakebite as a cause for dead animals with no obvious reason. That’s the bad news but the good news is that most of these need not occur at all.

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