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Ergot Problems In Sheep

19 December 2016

ergotSheep, like cattle, can be affected by ergot. Ergots seen on grain and grasses are more common this year.  Ergots contain alkaloids that restrict blood flow to organs.  It is impossible to tell whether ergots in grain are safe or not as the alkaloid content is very variable.  Assume no margin of safety for breeding stock.  Ergot poisoning can appear as abortions or if less severe underweight lambs due restriction of blood supply to the can cause ewes lacking milk which does not come in at all.  Avoiding use of ergot containing grain is the only safe measure.

John Vipond

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