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Healthy Livestock

Afbeelding: All Stock buying

Cattle

With all types of cattle, disease can wipe out profits practically overnight.  It is essential to draw up a Healthy Herd Plan with your vet to keep calves, breeding stock and finishing cattle healthy.  It is important to observe good biosecurity precautions to guard against disease risk.

Afbeelding: Sheep housing

Sheep

Frequent inspection for injury, illness, fly strike or other forms of distress is important and ailing sheep should be treated without delay.  The flock should be protected by adequate vaccination and veterinary advice should be sought.

The most common dietary diseases are as follows:

DISEASE  CAUSE  TREATMENT
Lambing sickness
(Hypocalcaemia)
Calcium deficiency in lactating ewes Check calcium content of diet or apply drench
Grass Staggers
(Hypomagnesaemia)
Magnesium deficiency usually brought on by cold and wet weather Feed diet containing adequate magnesium
Twin Lamb Disease
(Pregnancy Toxaemia)
Inadequate ewe nutrition around lambing time. Can be stress induced Higher energy feed or increased feed rate

 

Afbeelding: goat housing

Goats

To maintain the health of your goats, there are certain tasks that need to be undertaken on a regular basis:

  • Foot trimming - this needs doing every 6 - 8 weeks.  A surform plane and hoof paring clippers are the best tools for the job.
  • Worming - minimum number of treatments and maintain safe grazing - consult your Vet for further advice.
  • Vaccinating - goats should be vaccinated on an annual basis against a range of clostridial diseases

Daily tasks that can determine whether a goat is off colour or not, are as follows:

  • Examine your goats in good light if you notice any swelling or injury.
  • Droppings should be pellet form and firm, is the urine a normal colour.
  • Has there been any change in milk yield ?
  • Is there any change in the udder, milk texture, taste, colour or smell?
  • Does the goat have bright eyes and a clean nose?
  • Is the goat alert and inquisitive or restless?
  • Has the goat lost its appetite or stopped drinking water?
  • Is the goat's coat silky and shiny and free from irritation?
  • Does the goat walk correctly and comfortably with equal weight on each foot?

Knowing your herd is essential when it comes to health and welfare.  Some illnesses can have a gradual onset, so being able to spot the slightest change will help when combating illness.