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Abomasal bloat

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29 February 2020

Abomasal bloat occurs when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the stomach of kids (and lambs). This leads to a build up of gas in the stomach which either leads to rupture (like in the picture) or crushing of vital organs. Most kids that get bloat die.

There are a few ways to prevent Abomasal bloat, the main two that are used are ad lib feeding (milk is always available) and adding yoghurt to the milk.

Ad lib feeding works because it stops the stomach getting too full. The yoghurt works because it fills the stomach up with good bacteria and prevents the gas-producing bacteria from growing.

We have a great article at the clinic about how to add yoghurt to milk. You don’t need to add a lot of yoghurt - 2L of yoghurt is added to 30L of powdered milk, warmed for 24 hours then water added to make it up to 80L. Before feeding it to the kids you need to mix it or sieve it, otherwise you’ll get blockages in your feeding tubes.

Abomasal bloat is a herd issue and needs to be prevented every year or you can get up to 25% of your kids dying.  In extreme cases the bloat is so bad the stomach will burst as shown in the image below.

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