May 1, 2023
Spring has definitely sprung! The weather has warmed up and there are lambs and calves everywhere. The on-call weekends have been flat out and there hasn’t been much pause for breath during the working week either – the number of phone calls taken in the office has increased by around 50%! While it is our busiest time of year and you can end up extremely sleep deprived, it does tend to be the most fun. Calvings, lambings and caesareans are often a large part of why most farm animal vets choose the career. Whilst it can be a struggle to get on the road at 3am, the satisfaction on the drive home when you have had a successful outcome makes it worth it. As the livestock industry, rightly, moves evermore towards holistic approaches, herd/ flock health planning and preventative medicine, the emergency work has become less of a focus and the epic tales of lambings in the middle of a bog with just a match to see by are getting rarer. But this just makes those times where you do have the opportunity to do these operations all the more special. We have enjoyed this spring as a team, but it has been a challenging few weeks and we are looking forward to a bit of respite and the bank holiday – don’t worry there will be someone on the end of the phone if you need us!
As we move forward, the warmer weather does bring with it its own issues. Round worms are in the process of hatching currently, so stay ahead of the game with FWEC. Flies have also been an issue over the last few years, possibly due to increased numbers or maybe resistance to the fly products. Give us a call if you need support.
Sheep & Goats:
- We have seen a lot of hypomagnesaemia cases this spring, so make sure you have products in stock to treat cases promptly. Please give your vet a call to discuss if needed.
- Remember to start vaccinating lambs against clostridial disease at 4 weeks old. The initial course is two injections 4 weeks apart. Starting at 4 weeks old helps ensure that the course is completed and the lamb has a protective level of antibodies before the antibodies it acquired from colostrum have dropped to ineffective levels.
- Check for the Nematodirosis risk once your lambs are 4 weeks old by looking at the SCOPS Nematodirus forecast
- Start planning to prevent flystrike now. You can check the risk and see the first reported cases here: blow-fly tracker
- For those herds that are looking to graze this summer (if the rain ever relents), it is important to include mastitis controls into your grazing plan. Speak to your vet for latest advice.
- Turnout is going to bring a new set of metabolic challenges as the lush grass will cause upset in calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium balance. We are seeing an unseasonably high number of grass staggers in sheep and suckler cows and the high calcium content of the grass may lead to milk fevers and disease related to low calcium. Make sure you chat to one of the vets to find out the best ways to protect your herd.
- The cold nights and warm days seen recently has triggered some disease issues. These are mainly respiratory, but also some meningitis as well. If you are concerned with the health of your pigs, please get in touch. Don’t forget that we arrange collection of carcases for post mortem from the farm if necessary.
- It’s time to book in your bull’s MOTs prior to service window – give us a call to book.
- It is also a good time to pelvic measure heifers for selection.