Ask the Mechanic

Safety Tip of the Month September 2023: What Is in Your Pasture?

Clear trash from your pastures to prevent potentially fatal mishaps with your livestock. (Steve Thompson)

I asked my veterinarian what could be the cause of questionable deaths in grazing cattle. The vet replied he has been finding things inside cattle that can be fatal, including baler twine and plastic. A cow's stomach has four compartments, making things like twine, balloons, plastic bags and net wrap difficult to digest. Baler twine ends up becoming a growing hard ball that will kill a bovine. So, I decided to take a quick trip around my pastures. This photo shows what I found. One animal is happy, but it was not one of my cows.


-- Write Steve Thompson at Ask The Mechanic, 2204 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 415, Birmingham, AL 35209, or email, and be sure to include your phone number.