Farm Animal Information - Sheep/Goats
Farm Animal Information - Sheep/Goats
Bottle feeding has to be learned by the lamb. To teach the lamb to drink, place the teat in its mouth and move the jaw by hand to stimulate sucking.
The lamb requires 5-6 feeds of high quality colostrum spaced evenly throughout the day. Colostrum is absolutely critical for the lamb to establish an active immune system and to provide antibodies that will help the lamb to fight infection and prevent scours. The aim is to feed about 125ml per feed for a 4kg lamb.
Big robust lambs that have adapted well to the bottle can have the number of feeds reduced to 3-4/day but the volume increased. Aim to feed 200-300mls per feed. Do not be tempted to overfeed! It is best to keep the lambs a little hungry especially in the first few days. Overfeeding can lead to scours or bloating.
Day 5 onwards:
Transition lambs onto cold, yoghurtised milk. The most common cause of pet lamb deaths is abomasal bloat. THIS IS REALLY COMMON! A bacteria called Sarcinia lives in the abomasum and helps to digest the lactose in milk. When Sarcinia starts to proliferate it produces a large volume of gas, which if not removed quickly by the lamb, can result in abomasal bloat and death of the lamb. Rearing lambs on cold yoghurtised milk will virtually eliminate this issue.
To Make Yoghurtised Milk
- Place 3L of warm water (40C) in a 9L bucket (ensure the bucket is twice the volume to your milk or you may have a mess to clean up)
- Add 1 kg of Anlamb powder and mix with a stick blender
- Add a 200ml Easiyo Satchet to the water and mix again
- Leave in the hot water cupboard to thicken (8-12hrs)
The mix varies from a bubbly thickshake to crusty cream cheese sitting on top of a clear liquid, to thick commercial yoghurt
- Top up with cold water to the 8L mark on the bucket
- Remove 200ml of this liquid for use as the started for the next batch
- When it’s time to feed the lamb, whisk the mix well and decant what you need and feed cold
- Introduce the yoghurt with a gradual transition from warm to cold feeding
- You can change the bucket every so often for a clean one if you prefer
- You may need to occasionally ‘recharge’ the mixture with extra yoghurt if it gets too thin or seems to not be fermenting well.
The vast majority of scours in lambs is nutritional/osmotic rather than infectious and are generally easily fixed:
- At the first sign of a mild scour with the lamb still bright and drinking
- Increase the concentration of the milk replacer being fed by around 20-25%
- Cut the water down but use the same amount of powder
- Also reduce the volume fed for two or three feeds by 50ml
- This will frequently stop the scour, but make sure the lamb has fresh water available and watch for constipation, this can happen quite easily.When the scour stops, transition back to normal volume and concentration.
- If the above approach doesn’t work or the lamb is dull or inappetant, you will need to move onto the electrolyte therapy.
- Please talk to your vet. When the milk is reintroduced, use the reduced volume/increased concentration approach as above.
Flystrike is estimated to cost the New Zealand sheep industry about $37 million a year, with those losses coming from deaths, treatment costs, and loss of meat and wool production. Even relatively minor strikes can result in marked appetite loss and subsequent losses of weight with prolonged recovery times.
* at 3ltr applied washFour species of blowfly are recorded as causing strikes on sheep in New Zealand, with the Australian green blowfly [Lucilia cuprina] and the European green blowfly [Lucilia sericata] recognized as the most important primary strike flies.
Prevention of flystrike is largely reliant on the application of insecticides by a variety of means [saturation dipping, jetting, low volume pour-ons or spray-on] to the fleece of ‘at risk’ animals, along with good animal husbandry for effective worm control and to prevent faecal soiling, and crutching and shearing at appropriate times. The preventative chemicals most commonly used belong to the broad insect growth regulator [IGR] group of compounds.The IGR’s fall into two distinct chemical classes;
1.Triazine/pyrimidine derivatives such as cyromazine [Vetrazin] and dicyclanil [CLiK and CLiKZiN]
2. Benzoyl phenyl urea [BPU] compounds represented by diflubenzuron and triflumuronLucilia spp blowflies have demonstrated a remarkable ability to develop resistance to various chemicals used to control or prevent flystrike, with resistance first manifested as a shorter than expected period of protection in spite of proper application and dosage. Strains of Lucilia spp. resistant to diazinon an organophoshate, have been recorded throughout New Zealand and recent surveys have suggested that there may be widespread resistance to BPUs in the Waikato.Minimizing the losses caused by flystrike requires a planned preventative approach using effective products. A preventative approach means treatments are applied before expected fly activity rather than waiting until animals get struck. Resistance management needs to be factored in when planning flystrike prevention programmes, alongside other key factors such as rainfall, class of sheep, shearing, docking and weaning dates, product application method and previous fly challenge. If you have any doubts about the effectiveness of your current flystrike prevention programme please give us a call.See individual pack details for full instructions on how to get the best out of your choice
Pour-on is deadly if given by mouth. Overdosing by more than 50% is dangerous, especially with Levamisole or Selenium. There are no Abamectin (Ivomec-type) products licensed for oral use in cattle because of potential for overdosing. Never add drench to bulk tanks such as calf milk feeders as you will have no control over how much each animal drinks.Always read directions and dose rates carefully, and if you have delegated drenching to other staff, make sure they fully understand your instructions, route of administration, and the dose rates.Bloat Drench is extremely toxic to calves in it’s concentrate form. Never use old bloat drench drums as calf feeders.
Plants / Trees
– Oleander is extremely toxic, to stock and to people. In one case, 5 leaves killed 5 calves. Remove it with extreme care as scratches can also cause problems.
– Yew leaves, bark and seeds are all poisonous, and just as bad fresh or wilted. Do not throw trimmings into stock paddocks.
– Acorns are particularly poisonous when they are green (fallen during high winds). Calves suckling cows that have eaten acorns are most susceptible, followed by calves eating them, then adult animals.
– Rhododendron has been responsible for the death of several pet lambs, leading to great distress. Keep lambs out of the garden, and trimmings out of the paddock.
– Lily of the Valley contains digitalis glycosides, the same toxin found in foxglove. Once again, keep it away from stock.
There are plenty of other plants that can cause poisonings in stock, including Poa Aquatica (which has locally been known as Oreipunga disease due to its occurrence in this area), rhubarb, arum lily, macrocarpa (particularly after trimming or high winds), ragwort, tutu, hemlock, bracken fern, marijuana, and many others. Most will only be poisonous if eaten in large quantities but are better not to be eaten at all.
Rubbish / Dump Sites
Old car batteries and sheep dip have caused problems due to the lead and arsenic content. Beware the rubbish pile and inquisitive stock.
If you are concerned that your stock has eaten or been overdosed with any of the above, or you are unsure of how safe a product or plant matter is, please ring the clinic immediately on 0800 226 838 or (07) 827 7099 and ask to speak to a vet.
Androvax is a vaccine that increases fecundity in breeding ewes, increasing lambing percentage by an average 20%. It contains an androstenedione-protein complex which raises antibody levels, causing a change in hormone production which temporarily blocks the release of eggs from the ovaries. More eggs mature and when antibody levels fall these extra eggs are released, thus increasing the number of lambs born.
In the first year two doses are administered. The first dose is given 8 – 10 weeks before ewes are mated and the second dose at 4 – 6 weeks prior to mating. In subsequent years, previously vaccinated ewes only need a single booster injection 4 – 6 weeks prior to mating.
toxoplasmosis and campylobacter, indicating that they are present and circulating on virtually every farm in the country. The risk of disease is highest in hoggets and two tooths and the results of infection can be devastating. Abortion storms result in the loss of between 20% and 30% of lambs but can be as high as 70%. Such losses can be both emotionally and financially crippling. Even when no abortions are seen, losses can still be significant, with increases in the number of both dry and late lambing ewes. Both diseases have also been implicated in the births of stillborn or weak lambs that fail to thrive. Vaccination has been shown to prevent losses from both abortion storms and the reproductive effects of both diseases. Increases in lambing percentage of 3-9% have also been shown to be a benefit from the use of vaccination.
You cannot control the weather or the lamb schedule, but you can certainly avoid the devastating effects of abortion storms whilst improving lambing percentages.
Campyvax – requires a booster pre-tupping and a sensitizer 4-8 weeks earlier for ewe lambs.
WORMWISE – sheep, goats and calves
There is a LOT of worm resistance to drenches reported by the labs, which is defined as a reduction of <90%in faecal egg count after drenching. In fact resistance has already developed to one of the “new” sheep drenches recently developed.
The Wormwise website gives some great advice for reducing the risk.
Faecal egg counts are a great way of seeing if animals actually need a drench (why waste time and money?), and if a drench has done the job (7-10 days after drenching). Simply drop off some samples to our clinic – we can give you some plastic pots.
How often do you need to drench? It depends on the pasture burden, stocking density, species grazing, weather impact on worm lifecycle, drench used…
Paddocks that just graze youngstock will develop a higher worm burden.
Co-grazing different species, or rotating youngstock with adult cattle, will reduce the worm burden.
Warm, wet weather is ideal for worms and quickens their lifecycle – some species 14 days! Does this sound familiar in the Waikato?
Oral drenches tend to have no residual activity whereas pour-on and injectable generally last a month. But oral drenches seem to be more effective in youngstock.
Check the weight of some animals, the recommended dose rate, the dose actually delivered by the gun into a measuring jug, and that the product is not out of date!
Combination drenches will reduce the risk of resistance.
Levamisole (clear drench) is still the best for cooperia ……
Refugia allows the dilution of resistant worm eggs with “normal” eggs from undrenched animals, and the resistance genes generally have an energy cost which makes them less competitive. In practice, this means not drenching the best 10% of the mob, or similar strategy.
Goats do not seem to have developed much immunity to worms compared to other ruminants, so even adults often need worming over summer. We recommend increasing the dose to about 50% above what sheep are advised.
Prevention is best achieved by never making stock graze into the base level of pastures. The fungus grows on the litter at the base of the pasture and the spores are concentrated there.
Other options include:
· Spray pastures with fungicide.
· Use a suitable zinc prevention method. In highly toxic conditions use zinc oxide prevention as for sheep.
· Provide supplementary feed (crops, fodder, hay or silage) to reduce grazing pressure on toxic pastures.
The nature of the mastitis seemed to be contagious, so control measures to reduce prevalence as well as transmission may be effective in controlling IMI: teat spraying, optimal milking machine function, and milker hygiene.
IMI was found to increase gland SCC, but only affected Bulk Tank SCC in early lactation, as goats’ SCC increases later in lactation anyway. Stress can also cause a rise in SCC.