SHEEP producers with early lambed ewes must take extra precautions to avoid coccidiosis in lambs where they are housed for longer than usual due to poor weather. Tony Andrews, independent vet consultant, warns that steps must be taken to prevent contamination of feed with muck.
"Raise all feed off the ground where possible," says Dr Andrews. "And if feeding straw on the bedding, use enough to avoid contamination."
He also advises thinking of extra places to put stock to avoid overcrowding and to reduce the stocking density.
Take care to avoid coccidiosis in lambs when they are housed for longer than usual due to the poor weather conditions.
Stock on farms with a history of fluke which have not yet been dosed should be checked and dosed if necessary. It is important, for example, that ewes go into lambing free of infection and do not contaminate pastures when turned out. In such a dry year, however, this should only be a concern on flukey farms. Where possible drugs effective against all stages of fluke should be used to reduce future pasture contamination.
After lambing, infected ewes will shed large numbers of eggs even though the ewes are otherwise relatively immune themselves and will shed little infection at other times of the year.
This post-lambing egg rise is a major source of infection for young lambs. Sheep that are now being housed and so will receive no further worm exposure should benefit from worming to reduce pasture contamination after lambing.
As for cattle, the late autumn rains saw larvae counts increase and so pose a danger to youngstock from winter worms. Here larvae are inhibited and resume their development in late winter, a process often triggered by stress. Youngstock not wormed should be with drugs effective against inhibited larvae.
Where this has been present on farms, consider dosing to remove residual infection.
SHEEP: WATCH FOR
• Twin lamb disease.
• Increasing levels of abortion.
• Respiratory problems.