Some sad and concerning news. About 30 cattle died in Colorado over the last month. Ingesting high levels of nitrates was the cause on a ranchers property near Shriever Air Force Base

According to the Gazette,  Dr. John Heilkkila of Choice Veterinary Service who examined the animals recently, elevated levels of nitrates were found in at least one bale of hale eaten by the cattle.

The unidentified rancher apparently fed the cattle from that same bale of hay with no incidents for the past two weeks before their deaths on December 22.

Nitrates are fairly common in some livestock feeds and are also found in fertilizer. Ingested in high levels, it can lower the oxygen carrying capacity in animal blood resulting in death.

The broker who sold the hay to the rancher is now testing additional bales of hay for high levels of nitrates and the good news out of all of this is that there have been no further cattle deaths. After further investigation, El Paso sheriffs have determined that not criminal activity occurred.

What a crazy time we're in, for us humans, we're trying to avoid getting Covid and for cattle it's about avoiding the "dirty hay".

Colorado's Wild Big Game Populations

 

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