Why do cows eat plastics?
- Pica – due to mineral deficiency
- Predisposing factors in the environment where the cow searches for feed in garbage or left to graze in towns and dump sites where plastics bag are at their disposal
- Out of curiosity
Sources of plastics in the farm
- General household waste
- Plastic material is blown over by the wind
- Plastic wrapping materials for feeds and mineral supplements
- Plastic ropes and wraps for hay bales and silage
What you will see when your cow has eaten plastics
- The cow progressively becomes weak and sluggish
- The cow loses appetite and may go off-feed
- The cow frequently experiences bloat due to blockage.
- The animal experiences polydipsia and frequently drinks a lot of water.
- The cow gradually loses body condition and in turn, loses productivity and eventually may die.
What should you do then?
There is currently no available chemical that can be used to get rid of the plastic in the stomach. However;
the most effective, and sure, way is by physical removal by surgery done by a veterinarian.
Prevention & Control
- Providing proper and sufficient mineral supplementation
- Ensuring that the surrounding is clean and free of plastics
- See to it that all plastic feed wrappings and hay bale ropes are properly disposed of.