Can Clover Kill Cows

Can Clover Kill Cows?

Cows are herbivores meaning that they rely on plants for survival. They consume various types of plants and while some plants are approved by research, there is still a lot of controversy around clover. Below we look at whether clover is a good plant to feed your cattle.


Can Clover Kill Cows

In very rare circumstances, clover can kill cows. This usually happens when cows consume wet sweet clover or moldy clover. Excessive consumption of clover can also kill cows. This is because clover produces a lot of foam when ingested and this makes it hard for cattle to release gas during the digestion process. In most instances, the cows will succumb to pasture bloat. This type of bloat can lead to death in cattle when not treated. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you limit your cow’s intake of clover.

How To Feed Clover To Cows So That It Doesn’t Kill Them

If you want your cows to consume clover without facing any adverse reactions, the first thing you need to note is that, clover should never be fed to cows in the morning. This is because, in the morning clover usually contains dew, which then motivates the cows to eat more. When these animals consume too much of this plant they can develop bloat. Therefore, the best time to feed your cows this plant is during midday. When feeding this legume to cattle, always ensure that there is enough water available. This is because water helps to make the digestion process a bit easier. Lastly, you should always check the quality of your clover before letting your cows devour it. This is because moldy sweet clover can kill your cows.

Benefits Of Clover To Cows

Improves Animal Performance

One of the health benefits of clover to cows is that it improves the performance of cows. Studies show that cows that consume clover gain more weight and their reproduction improves. Clover also contains more nutrients than grass which is why cows that consume this legume tend to grow faster.

Increases Weight

Another benefit of clover to cows is that it helps them to gain weight. This is because this legume is filled with so many vitamins and minerals. Many farmers, mix this legume into their animals hay or forage so that they can be able to gain more weight. So if you are looking for a legume to include in your cows diet then this is your best option.

Disadvantages Of Clover To Cows

While, clover has so many health benefits to cows, it also has its own disadvantages as will be discussed below.


When cows consume excessive amounts of this legume, they are more likely to experience bloat. This condition usually happens when the rumen is inflated with gas. Legumes like clover produce a lot of foam when ingested. This foam makes it difficult for the rumen to release gas which then results in bloating. Below are some of the signs of bloating in cows.

Signs Of Bloat In Cows

  • Distention in the left abdomen
  • Bellowing
  • Difficulty In Breathing
  • Trudging of feet
  • Kicking at the belly
  • Frequent urination

Treatment For Bloat

  • Small dosage of Dimethicone or Polaxolene
  • Insert a tube into the cow so as to help it release the gas.

How To Prevent Bloat In Cows

Bloat is a serious condition that can result in the death of cattle. Below are a few tips you can use in order to ensure that your cattle never suffer from this disease.

  • Your pastures should never contain more than 50% of legumes, so always make sure that grass is the most dominating feed in your pastures.
  • Avoid planting legumes like clover which have the potential causing bloat.
  • Provide cattle with hay and grass before offering them legumes like clover. This helps to reduce their intake of legumes.
  • Never allow hungry cows to graze on areas that are filled with legume plants.

What Is Clover And Does It Kill Cows?

Clover is a type of legume plant that grows in pastures or areas where there is grass. This plant contains certain compounds which can be harmful to a cow when ingested in excess. When this plant is ingested in excess, it produces a lot of foam which then stops the digestion process. When the process stops, cows usually experience bloat and if left untreated they can die.

Does White Clover Hurt Cows?

Yes, white clover can hurt cows when consumed in excessive amounts. Therefore, it is highly recommended that this plant be offered in moderate amounts to these animals or else they will die.

Should Clover Be Removed?

If your pastures are made up of more than 50% of clover, it means you need to remove some of it. This is because a cow’s intake of this plant should not excess 50%. This plant should only be offered as a supplement and not as a substitute for their grass, hay or other forages. So if you notice that you pastures contain more clover than grass, please remove some of it or else your animals will suffer from bloat.

Can Sheep Eat Clover?

Yes, sheep can eat clover provided it is the white clover. This is because red clover contains more phytoestrogens which tend to cause bloat and reduce reproduction in sheep. When offering clover to sheep it is essential to offer it in moderate amounts. This is because it can lead to bloat. White clover contains anti-inflammatory effects and it also improves the appetite of these animals.

Can Cows See Color?

Yes, cows can see certain types of colors like yellow, blue, white and black. They are however, unable to see colors like red and green. This is because they lack red receptors in their retinas. Therefore, one can say that they are color blind to red. Cows have the ability to see well at night even though they are color blind to red.


Clover is a good legume to include in your cow’s diet however, excessive consumption of it can lead to bloat. Therefore, always ensure that your animals are getting moderate amounts of this plant.