Newsletter February 2015

We are getting ready for the busy spring work load, having just completed the 6 month TB testing of all the farms in the 3km zone from the outbreak in Bootle. Thankfully we have not found any more herds with reactor animals present, but will have to repeat the testing again next autumn before the need to premovement test will be removed.

We are currently receiving the testing list for the spring, which will necessitate testing all cattle within 3km from the outbreaks in Lowick and The Green. Hopefully all cattle will test clear and this will be the last full herd tests in these areas. With around 100 farms to test we would appreciate it if you could contact us as soon as possible to fix a date when you receive notification that your test is due. This is crucial if you want to use this herd test to enable you to sell at a specific sale this spring. If you were tested in March last year and want to doit now then give us a ring and we will see if we can get it moved forward for you.

We are happy to receive payment by BACS for those of you who would find it more convenient. Please let us know if you are going to start making payments this way so we credit the right person! Account details are:

  • Name: Browne & McKinney
  • Sort Code: 20-04-68
  • Account Number: 80767131

We have had a number of sheep in for lambing already, with a few caesareans resulting in live lambs. The most important thing you can do to help us get live lambs and a live ewe at the end of it all is to bring her to us as soon as you decide you are not able to lamb her. The more trauma the ewe goes through whilst trying to have her lambs, the bigger the risk to all of them, so the sooner you decide to bring her to us the better.

Have you got all your supplies in place—lubrel, penicillin, iodine, terramycin sprays, calcium, twin lamb energy drench. Don’t forget either ‘Spectam Scourhalt’ or ‘Orojet’ for the prevention of watery mouth and scour in newborn lambs. There has been problems in getting ‘Orojet’, due to a problem with the dispensing bottle, but hopefully it should be available again soon.

More concerning is the problems in getting ‘Scabivax’ to vaccinate lambs against orf. We have managed to source enough to date, but are unsure when the next batch will be coming. We have been sent both ‘Scabivax forte’ that you use with the applicator gun as well as the ‘Scabivax’ we used 10 years ago, that comes with the 2 pronged applicator that you dip in the vaccine pot. Please make sure you are using the vaccine correctly when you scratch the lambs, as the different vaccines require a different scratch mark to confer protection.
Have you had your sheep scanned? Is there a large number of geld/barren ewes? Blood testing is available to check these ewes for evidence of toxoplasmosis which may be one reason for geld ewes. The laboratory charges for this will be paid for by the drug company– you will only have to pay us for taking the samples.

Rotavec corona vaccine to prevent rotavirus scour in calves is currently available—cows need vaccinating 1-3 months before calving. To fully protect the calf it then needs to get a good quantity of colostrum from its dam, which will be high in rotavirus antibodies (6 pints in the first 6 hours of life). Cows should be housed in clean dry pens, with plenty of straw to reduce the risk of the calf sucking on dirty teats or tails. If the calf consumes muck before it gets its colostrum then it is more likely to develop scour problems.

Annual boosters for BVD and leptospira will be due for a number of you before turnout—please telephone the office with number of doses you require so we can order it for you.

Huskvac orders can also be taken to protect your cattle against the devastating effects of lungworm. It is still the best way to offer protection to your replacement cows. Calves can be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age, with a second dose being given 4 weeks later. This second dose should be at least 2 weeks before turnout.