Latex balloons are fun. Who does not like to blow up a balloon and watch it be tossed from person to person, especially if those persons are little ones? There is such a joy about the lightness of the balloon as it jostles from one pair of hands to the other and the smiles on little children as they play in their delight will win the cold hearts of anyone paying attention. But what happens to the balloons when they pop?
Most people will pick up the remains and put them in the garbage. Balloons are sometimes used in outdoor celebrations too, and helium filled ones are released in quantities to float and eventually fall. Fall where? People have them filled for the new way of celebrating weddings, with straw bales and barnwood in the middle of a hayfield. And then what happens to them?
I found a collection of spent balloons and nylon ribbons in my hay bale. Sheep and goats have been known to eat many strange things and bits of latex balloons would be no surprise. Ducks, geese and even chickens are attracted to the bright coloured ribbons and will try to eat them too. The ingestion of latex in that quantity would severely hamper the digestive tract and sometimes cause death. Recently I read of a ewe who died from eating a latex glove left in the barn. They knew because they did their own autopsy to help understand the cause of a perfectly healthy ewe's death.
I love balloons as much as anyone. And I love watching children play with them too, but I do not want to see animals and birds harmed by them. So please, when you are through with your balloons, dispose of them carefully where wildlife and birds will not be attracted to the bright coloured bits and ribbons. And please, if you are celebrating in a hay field, clean up the balloons along with the rest of the litter. Don't leave them on the ground to be picked up by the baler and fed to animals.
Thank you for that consideration!Thank ewe.