Animal Health Considerations this Spring

The key to maximising lamb growth rates to weaning is maintaining high quality, high protein pastures with a legume dominance. This is rare period where lambs have the potential to achieve up to 400g/day growth. Prioritising twinning mobs and 2 tooth’s/lambing hoggets to the best paddocks will not only assist with maximising lamb growth, it will also ensure these younger growing ewes can continue to develop frame and put on condition after peak lactation.

Internal parasite control:

Pre-weaning tape drenching of lambs is a worthwhile exercise to maximise growth to weaning especially as nematodirus or tape worms are present.

Feet soundness:

If you see limping lambs you are seeing lost potential growth rate and reduction in weaning weights. Yes, many do self-cure, but if there is footrot in the ewes, this lamb lameness will linger for longer. Troughing will help, especially in the early stages. Tailing is a good opportunity to have a dedicated lamb foot checker. Blue spraying (Tetravet aerosol) infected feet is a really good way to get on top of lamb lameness. There are non-antibiotic aerosol options also for those on antibiotic free contracts.

Copper, B12 and Selenium to yearling and breeding cattle:

In growthy springs, there can be a requirement to supplement cattle with extra B12 and Selenium to ensure they optimise the spring conditions. A boost of copper can also be warranted for growth cattle (although ideally, they should have had this during the winter)

Multi-min (Se, Cu, Zinc and Manganese) is popular for breeding cattle/heifers. There is some data to show it has additional benefits for conception rates/embryo survival. Otherwise Prolaject B12 2000+Se is a popular choice at the moment.