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What is Aflatoxin and its relationship to Supplemental deer feeding.

 

            Let’s first and discuss what is Aflatoxin in Corn. Aflatoxinis a naturally occurring toxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus. Thefungus can be recognized by a gray-green or yellow-green mold growing on cornkernels in the field or in storage. This is why it is imperative that you usecare when selecting where you purchase your supplemental deer corn or pelletedfeed from.  

             When buying corn or Pelleted feed, quality is of importance.Corn from Co-Op Storage or Mills are usually a good place to buy corn andPelleted feed from due to the fact that their corn is tested for Aflatoxin’s. Their corn is usually intended for cattle and specifically dairy cattle so the presence of Aflatoxin has to be negative presence or very minimal range of PPM.Elevated levels of Aflatoxin in corn can cause animals to become ill and even possible die. In livestock and several wildlife species, aflatoxins can cause liver damage, immune system failure and liver cancer.  

             Because deer have a complex ruminant digestive system, theydon’t seem as susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins as other animals. It’simportant when reading this statement to understand that more than deer frequent your feeders. This why you should keep your feeders clean as well as having a quality feeding plan. Pouring feed onto the ground promotes the growth of Aflatoxin as well as many of your PVC or trough feeders. Keeping you feeders clean and free of molds will help promote a healthier heard and cut down on possible unwanted diseases.   

              The worry isn’t over once corn is purchased. Hunters shouldstore and feed corn carefully to assure that mycotoxins don’t increase. Sincethe toxin- producing fungi grow best under warm, humid conditions, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts need to guard against ever letting corn get wet. This is extremely important during the summer months with the heat and humidity levels. Later in the season when temperatures start to drop so do the chances of fungus growth. 

 

                                                      When purchasing corn don’t be afraidto ask about Aflatoxin. 

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