Mycotoxins are toxic substance that are produced by mold that grows in the food of the livestock during the handling or storage. Molds can produce mycotoxins under a wide range of conditions and can enter the animal through feed or through their bedding.
How Mycotoxins Affect livestock?
Mycotoxins have a number of negative effects on livestock. Here are the most common types of ways that they can cause damage to livestock –
- Animals will start to eat less food than they usually do. Some might even refuse to eat at all.
- The animals will be able to absorb little nutrients from the food that they eat. In addition, their body will metabolise fewer nutrients in the body.
- The hormone system of the livestock can also be affected due to mycotoxins. The endocrine and exocrine systems will be adversely affected.
- The immune system of the livestock will have to work a lot harder and will stop working entirely in time.
Biologically, mycotoxins can harm the livestock in a number of ways that is not seen with the naked eye at first. It produces liver and kidney toxicity. It also affects the central nervous system of the animals. It greatly altars the fertility and the reproduction cycles in the animals. More often than not it decreases the immune system of the body and makes it totally non-functioning. Some of the main types of mycotoxins that are produced from the fungus in grain are Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin, Trichothecene, Vomitoxin and Zearalenone.
How To Fight Mycotoxins?
First, you need to keep a check on the condition of the animals to find out if they are affected by mycotoxins. One of the best treatments is the binder that pulls the mycotoxins out of the system of the animal. You can normally see results within 30 days. In addition to that, the bedding of the animals needs to be cleaned more often in order to keep it mold free. You can also use a mold inhibitor in the grain itself in order to keep the infestation from occurring. The adding of mycotoxins additive to the feed can help increase the shelf life and prevent the mold development in a number of situations.