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    [RC] Confirmed multiple horse death due to a Large Round Bale - Libby & Quentin Llop

    > Dear Horse Owners:
    > As a veterinarian and seller of large round bales, that we make from our
    > home fields, I was most perturbed to receive a telephone call from the
    > nephew of a horse owner, where a large round bale had just been delivered.
    > "Your hay has not been here two hours, and two horses from the group are
    > dead!"   The obvious implication was that a gross error existed somewhere
    > our hay operation.
    >     In 1979, we saw that the wave of the future was making hay in large
    > bundles, to be handled by machine, rather than small to be handled by
    > As we did not have enough acreage to justify the purchase of a new
    > we anticipated paying off the loan to cover the $4700 machine by doing
    > custom work.  Naturally we were concerned with the health of our horses.
    > Initially we stored hay outside; after a period of years, however, we
    > discovered a high incidence of heaves in our teenage horses.  Currently
    > horses and horse customers get only early cut, not rained on hay that was
    > either stored under
    > cover or inside a plastic sleeve.  We feed only in feeders to minimize
    > and currently are on our third and fourth baler.
    >      So with that much haymaking experience, we couldn't imagine the
    > of the horse mortality.  As I suggested that I come & do a post mortem
    > examination of the horses, I was doubtful of finding any grossly visible
    > signs.   I recalled, however, Dr. King in Fri. afternoon Show & Tell
    > up an unchewed and undigested sprig of yew (Taxus) and announcing, that it
    > came from the rumen of goat which had succumbed within hours to its
    > poisonous factors.
    >     Equipped with my sharpened knife and gardener's limb loppers, to cut
    > ribs, I drove into the farm.   I envied the way the horses had eaten
    > underneath the high tensile electric fence along the drive.  Yes, there
    > the horses, lying on their sides on the close cropped sod near the freshly
    > eaten from round bale.  In ten minutes I was deep into the gruesome task.
    > Much blood was found in the abdomen.  Paired four to five inch bruises
    > on the inside of the abdominal muscle.  The inescapable conclusion was
    > the presence of the round bale induced such a fight among the hungry
    > that the dominant one killed two of the others.
    > Quentin
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