The essence of successful fine wool lamb finishing is keeping the worms out, the feet sound and the guts right.
The gut microflora on fine wool lambs is more delicate than others. Smaller lambs (less than 23kg) are at much higher risk of scouring issues. There isn't the scope to debate the virtues of enzyme drenches or explain this complex here, suffice to say avoiding the scrubbers will reduce wastage.
Fine Wool Lamb Parasite Management
The way merino lambs camp and graze together with an immature immune system, means they can be more prone to internal parasitism. A solid preventative drenching program from the start is vital. Woe betide skipping or stretching out a drench in the autumn....
Many find a SeCo capsule or LA injection takes care of the autumn worm issues. An exit drench of Zolvix or Startect is a prudent measure to ensure any resistant worms are not carted through the winter.
Clostridial vaccines (2 shots) are a no brainer. These valuable animals (as pointed out above) are the highest risk because they're on your property longer, have several feed changes and are expected to grow fast in the spring after shearing.
Fine Wool Lamb Feet Soundness
Having a plan and set up for managing feet and starting with inspecting feet when they first arrive is advised. You can't take chances with footrot. If an infection is left to spread in mob it can really smash your margins and making running these animals a misery. With planning and good management fine wool hoggets can do very well on improved pastures. Because of the dry summer this year, there have been less footrot infected lambs at weaning, but the back end of autumn with dewy conditions footrot infection can take off in hoggets if not managed.
For more specific details about animal health and feet management for successful fine wool finishing contact the Veterinary Centre.