Focus On Animal Health

Animal health is a key aspect in any enterprise and with lambing season already beginning in some areas, take a proactive approach to maximise ewe and lamb performance. The majority of lamb losses occur during the first 48 hours of life, but this could be avoided by focusing on ewe and lamb nutrition.

Colostrum Management

Newborn lambs have a limited supply of energy so by ensuring lambs have rapid access to a quality source of colostrum, whether from the ewe, or from a manufactured supplement, is crucial for lamb survival and their ability to thrive.

Research from the Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) has shown that in the first 18 hours of life, lambs require at least 250ml per kg birth weight of colostrum to meet energy requirements, and prevent hypothermia. However, at least 300ml of this should be consumed within the first 6 hours of birth to provide disease immunity.

Supplementing Colostrum

Not all ewes are able to deliver a quality source of colostrum in sufficient quantities for their lambs so an effective colostrum supplement should always be kept to hand.

Wynnstay Lambcol Gold is a quality, easy-mix colostrum containing multiple fat sources to provide short and long-term energy to weak and small lambs when needed. It is further enhanced with essential vitamins A, D and E, prebiotics for effective gut function and nucleotides to help promote protein development. A 25g dose provides lambs with a protein rich, nutritional source required in the first hours of life.

Cydectin LA to control Spring rise:

Healthy ewes with a good immune status will carry a worm burden after winter and there is a reduction in immunity around the lambing period. For a couple of weeks before and several weeks after lambing, the ‘Spring Rise’ as it is known, sees an increase in output of roundworm eggs in faeces.

Research identified that treating ewes at lambing with long acting injectable 2% moxidectin (trade name, CYDECTIN® 20mg/ml Long Acting Injection for Sheep) significantly reduced faecal egg outputs for more than 60 days post treatment, compared to a 0.1% oral drench of the same active ingredient [ref1].

The study also found that lambs grazing with the 2% moxidectin-treated mothers had significantly lower faecal egg counts (FECs) than lambs grazing with the drenched ones.

The following recommendations help ensure appropriate and justified use of wormers:

  • Use moxidectin when it will be most beneficial for your farm
  • Consider leaving fit, single bearing ewes untreated prelambing
  • Give lambs a knockout drench using a highly effective wormer
  • Be vigilant for Nematodirus battus in lambs and dose appropriately with a BZ drench if required

The Jones Family, Cwm Y Geifr, Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, used CYDECTIN 20mg/ml Long Acting Injection for Sheep last year. Glyn Jones stated, “We decided to use Cydectin L A Sheep in mid-February 2016 as a pre lambing treatment. It gave us peace of mind of having a scab free environment at lambing and was also beneficial in reducing the worm challenge to lambs. It saved us drenching the ewes post lambing as we usually do before the sheep go up to the mountain.”

Know Your Flukicide Choices

Don’t leave your dairy cows harbouring fluke infestations unnecessarily. After such a mild and wet winter, herds struggling with liver fluke should consider a pre-turnout, flukicide-only lactating cow treatment to clear out adult flukes. Fluke problems are escalating at a time when available flukicide options are restricted. Now there’s only one straight flukicide – oxyclozanide (Zanil®) – which is licensed for lactating dairy cows.

If fluke has been diagnosed in your herd, there’s a strong case for treating housed adult milking cows in February and March. At this time of year the animals have been housed for ten weeks or more and there should only be adult fluke present in the cattle. Treatment now with Zanil® will kill these in the bile ducts and prevent them laying eggs that will contaminate pasture. Treatment before lactating cows go out to grass will also help take the pressure off the triclabendazoles later in the year.

Zanil® has the additional benefit of only a 72-hour milk withhold, which means it can used during long and short drying off periods. What’s more, no cases of fluke resistance to oxyclozanide have been reported, which means Zanil® can be used in a rotation where resistance to albendazole has been confirmed. It can also be used orally and in feed. The dose rate is 3ml/10kg up to a maximum of 105ml.

For more information please contact your in store SQP or local Animal Health Specialist. To find your local store, click here.

[ref1] – Sargison N.D. et al doi 10.1016/j.vetpar .2012.04.020. CYDECTIN 20 MG/ML LA SOLUTION FOR INJECTION FOR SHEEP contains moxidectin. POM-VPS For further information please see the procdt’us SPC or contact Zoetis UK Limited, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7NS. Customer Support: 0845 300 8034. Use medicines responsibly ( Date of preparation: December 2016 AH764/16

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