information via the Forage Information
Managing to Prevent
Bloat can be a problem
when animals are grazed on young, lush alfalfa. Bloat can be prevented
through management practices, feeding poloxalene or a combination of both.
New grazing-type alfalfa varieties are just as likely to cause bloat as
traditional hay-type varieties. Some of the management tips include:
- Fill animals with
another roughage before turning them onto alfalfa the first time. Don't
allow animals to get hungry. Hungry animals may over-eat and bloat when
they get fresh pasture.
- Gradually (over
a 5 or 6 day period) increase the time that animals have access to alfalfa
- Observe animals
at least twice a day when they are turned onto alfalfa pasture. Some
animals are chronic bloaters and should be watched especially close
or removed from the pasture.
- Once they are
use to alfalfa pasture, leave the animals on the pasture constantly,
even at night.
- Extra caution
should be taken during wet, cloudy period in the early spring when alfalfa
is making its most rapid growth. Do not put animals onto alfalfa pasture
if a heavy dew is present.
- More mature alfalfa
is less likely to cause bloat. Minimize potential problems by initially
turning them onto alfalfa that has reached the bloom stage.
- Begin feeding
poloxalene 2 to 5 days before turning animals onto alfalfa pasture.
Use higher dosages when animals are first placed on alfalfa pasture,
and reduce the rate if no problems occur. Animals on lush alfalfa will
require more poloxalene than on more mature alfalfa.