14 March 1996

Bedding for health

ADEQUATE bedding will cut the risk of coccidiosis in finishing lambs.

The risk is at its highest at about one month after birth, warns Penrith-based vet Matt Colston. "Coccidiosis builds up over time and the number of cases is rising."

He recommends producers keep buildings and bedding as clean as possible, but acknowledges that can be tricky. "It is vital to use plenty of bedding to stop faecal contamination. Coccidiosis will affect individual lambs badly, but the entire group will suffer a growth check. That is particularly bad news for early lambs kept indoors for a fast finish, which are also most at risk."

Where coccidiosis has been a concern in the past, he advocates using medicated feed. "Individual animals can also be treated using antibiotic as soon as symptoms are seen," says Mr Colston. &#42