Newsletter October 2014

What a good September we have had and as a result stock have generally been in good health. We have however had problems with pneumonia in cattle on some units, both housed and those that have been outside. As we prepare for housing have you treated your youngstock for lungworm—it is better to remove these before cattle are housed as the lungworm die they can cause increased damage and inflammation in the lungs, so increasing the risk of pneumonia. If you vaccinate your calves to try and prevent respiratory disease then this is also best done before housing (remember most vaccines require 2 doses to be given 3-4 weeks apart to provide protection).

Vaccination reminders

Are you interested in having vaccination reminders sent to you by text or e-mail rather than through the post? If enough people are interested then we can arrange to have reminders sent for your sheep and cattle vaccines using modern technology. We could also use your e-mail address to send copies of any lab reports we get after we have sent samples off for further testing.

Payment Process

We are happy to receive payment by BACS if that is more convenient for you, rather than having to write and post a cheque, or ring up to make a card payment by phone.
Please can you let us know if you are intending to pay by BACS so we can provide you with the correct details then check it comes and credit it to the correct account!

Lameness in Sheep

Lameness continues to be one of the major concerns in the national sheep flock, with a national campaign being introduced to try and reduce the number of lame sheep in the national flock to <2%.  As well as being a welfare issue, lameness can have a significant effect on the production level and performance of the flock. The campaign consists of a 5 point plan which will help to reduce disease challenge, build resistance and establish immunity to disease.

  1. CULL repeat offenders –sheep that are repeatedly lame can develop misshapen feet and act as a reservoir of infection to other sheep in the flock.
  2. AVOID the risk of disease spreading – remember bacteria will thrive in wet dirty handling areas or poached feeding areas.
  3. TREAT as soon as they become lame, ideally within 3 days. Do not trim the foot but identify the cause and record it so repeat offenders can be culled.  If she has footrot then she should be given antibiotic injection and spray, but the horn should not be trimmed.
  4. QUARANTINE purchased animals for at least 3 weeks on arrival and check for signs of disease, especially footrot and CODD (contagious ovine digital dermatitis) so you do not introduce it to your own flock.
  5. VACCINATE to establish immunity; ideally the whole flock should be vaccinated before the period of highest risk.

This is the basic advice to help control lameness in your flock– if you want us to help you with a control plan then please ring to discuss it further.

TB Testing

TB testing in the Bootle area is ready to be done again – please give us as much notice as possible so that you can have your preferred date for testing.  This applies to any premovement testing required, remembering that we need to read the test 3 days after starting it, and then get the paperwork completed and sent to you so that you can take it with your cattle to the auction.

Ubro Red and Ubro Yellow tubes are now both back in stock but with a limited supply.  If you want to get some of these tubes then please give us a call.

Red Squirrel Conservation

RED SQUIRREL CONSERVATION– if any of you have seen a red squirrel on your land or are interested in controlling grey squirrels to give reds a chance please call Rick Browne on the surgery number 01229 716230.