The excessively wet winter means most of us will have problems turning stock out this spring due to the wet ground conditions. This will be particularly problematic for newborn calves and lambs where the combination of higher stocking rates, longer periods housed and warm weather will allow all the normal diseases to multiple rapidly. Obvious examples are scour, pneumonia, watery mouth, coccidiosis, etc.
The key to minimise these risks is good hygiene i.e. keeping stock, particularly lambs and calves well bedded.
Points To Consider
- Do you have enough straw to bed all stock for an extra 2 weeks this spring? If not consider buying straw now. At £40 – 50 per tonne one bale will cost less than 4 – 6 shots of antibiotic.
- If lambs and calves have to stay inside for longer consider erecting a refuge where they can lie away from their mothers and be kept well bedded. Hanging an electric fence tape off the roof at around 3 foot off the bedding will allow the calves to go under while keeping the cows back.
- Making the refuge 4 foot deep will allow a bale to be easily rolled along when required and allow the mother to easily see her offspring.
Basil Lowman, firstname.lastname@example.org
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