Torch Farm Vets newsletter – January 2020

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Torch Farm Vets newsletter – January 2020

READ THE JANUARY NEWSLETTER

Text only version:

EWE NUTRITION AT LAMBING TIME AND BEYOND

The nutrition provided to ewes in the last few months of pregnancy can have a significant impact on health and production around lambing time.

Underfed ewes are more likely to suffer from conditions such as pregnancy toxaemia, have a lower lamb birth weight and survival rates as well as reduced colostrum and milk yields – leading to poor lamb growth and health.

However overfed ewes can also encounter problems around the lambing period including prolapses and dystocia due to oversized lambs. Lambing difficulties can also delay the onset
of lactation and large lambs may lack vigour. Factors that must be considered when formulating a ration for ewes include:

Body condition score and litter size

Condition scoring and knowing litter sizes can help to group ewes according to their nutritional needs so that they can be fed accordingly. The target body condition score (BCS) for ewes at lambing time are as follows:

Forage type and quality

Forage should be available at all times to ewes to maintain stable rumen function. If ewes are housed; turning over or pushing up forage regularly encourages sheep to come to feed and increases intake.

Frequency and timing of feeding

Erratic feeding times, particularly with concentrates, can destabilise rumen microflora and function. When feeding concentrates (especially over 0.5kg per head per day), this should be divided

he nutrition provided to ewes in

the last few months of pregnancy can have a significant impact on health and production around lambing time.

Underfed ewes are more likely to suffer from conditions such as pregnancy toxaemia, have a lower lamb birth weight and survival rates as well as reduced colostrum and milk yields – leading to poor lamb growth and health.

However overfed ewes can also encounter problems around the lambing period including prolapses and dystocia due to oversized lambs. Lambing difficulties can also delay the onset
of lactation and large lambs may lack vigour. Factors that must be considered when formulating a ration for ewes include:

Body condition score and litter size

Condition scoring and knowing litter sizes can help to group ewes according to their nutritional needs so that they can be fed accordingly.

Forage type and quality

Forage should be available at all times to ewes to maintain stable rumen function. If ewes are housed; turning over or pushing up forage regularly encourages sheep to come to feed and increases intake.

Frequency and timing of feeding

Erratic feeding times, particularly with concentrates, can destabilise rumen microflora and function. When feeding concentrates (especially over 0.5kg per head per day), this should be divided into two feeds and fed at the same times every day.

Presentation of feeds

Feed should be of high quality, fresh and free from mould and contamination. Troughs and feeders should be cleaned out regularly to avoid the build-up of stale, unpalatable food. If feeding outdoors, troughs should be moved regularly or be on a dry standing.

Access and feeding space

Ewes should have adequate feed space to ensure they each get their fair share.

Consider feeding ewe lambs/shearling separately to older ewes. The below table gives a guide for the amount of space required per ewe:

Torch farm vets offer a ration analysis service to help you formulate the best feeding plan for your ewes this season. The basic analysis package includes:

• Which concentrate to purchase based on available forage analysis

• Mixing proportions for blends
• Which forage to use if more than one

is available

• Feeding rates to the point of parturition

• Costings – calculate cost per ewe.

We can also offer assistance with body condition scoring and assessment of feeding environment.

Metabolic profiling:

This involves blood sampling a number of ewes around three weeks before lambing is due to begin. It allows us to check how the ration is working – in time to make changes if necessary before lambing.

BVD STAMP IT OUT

Dates have been confirmed for BVD Stamp it Out completion meetings for those who have been part of the programme throughout 2019.

• Tuesday 4 February, 12:30 at The Thatched Inn, Abbotsham Bideford EX39 5BA

• Monday 10 February, 12:30 at The Old Station House Inn, Blackmore Gate, Kentisbury EX31 4NW

• Thursday 27 February, 12:30 at The Coaching Inn, Queen St, South Molton EX36 3BJ.

We have also secured funding for an additional 40 farms to take part in the BVD Stamp it Out programme. New Red Tractor guidelines released in Oct 2019 state that a BVD eradication plan must be in place at the time of inspection.

If you are interested in finding out more, our first meeting date for new farms is confirmed for:

• Tues 11th February, 12:30 at The Thatched Inn, Abbotsham EX39 5BA

Please let us know if you would like to attend any of the above dates by calling your usual practice, or emailing jenburnett@torchfarmvets.com

TORCH LAMBING CLUB:
A STRAIGHTFORWARD PLAN YOU CAN COUNT ON AT AN UNPREDICTABLE TIME OF YEAR

“The Lambing Club has been of real benefit to us. This one off payment is soon recovered so rather than taking up valuable time at lambing you can pop up to the vets getting their expertise and saving time. This gives you better results for less hassle – simple!”

“The Lambing Club has been very helpful to us, making us more inclined to get assistance with difficult lambing situations, knowing that the cost of this is already covered and limited”

Thank you to our valued clients who took the time to give us this feedback on the Torch Lambing Club. Hopefully it speaks for itself!

Membership of the Torch Lambing Club offers the reassurance of one single fee to cover all lambing related clinical work at our farm animal clinics*. At an unpredictable and stressful time of year, membership can provide peace of mind and a network of support when you need it the most.

What work is included?

• Lambings
• Sick/downer ewes
• Caesareans (excl. surgical pack

charge)
• Entropion
•Post-mortems
• Sick lambs
• Prolapses (excl. epidural charge)

When does Lambing Club run?

08:30 – 17:30 Monday to Friday

08:30 – 12:30 Saturday

Work undertaken outside these hours is chargeable at a discounted rate for club members.

The Lambing Club covers work carried out over any consecutive three month period.

*Bideford clients, please call us to discuss your options.

If you’d like to find out more or about the savings you can make or sign up to the Torch Lambing Club, please speak to your usual vet or give our team a call on 01271 879516.

HAVE YOU GOT AN HOUR TO SPARE TO HELP WITH RESEARCH AND RAISE MONEY FOR RABI?

The TB Advisory Service, along with Cardiff and Sheffield Universities, have been awarded a research project by DEFRA to examine farmer’s motivations when buying cattle.

They are currently trying to recruit farmers to take part in some interviews in the new year. They are keen to speak to farmers who buy cattle, and those who have recently started farming or taken on ownership of the farm. The research findings will be used by Defra to inform their future cattle purchasing and movement policies.

The interviews will last between 1 to 1.5hrs and involve discussing the significant changes made on farm over the last 10 years, and your purchasing strategies. For everyone that takes part they are donating £10 to RABI – and hope to raise around £4000.

If you would like to find out more

about the project, please email Gareth Enticott (enticottg@cardiff.ac.uk) or give him a call

on 07766135575 or 02920876243.

DIARY DATE: MILKSURE: THE USE OF MEDICINES IN PREVENTING BULK TANK FAILURE

The next Milksure meeting will be held on Friday 17 January, 10:00am at Charter Veterinary Hospital, Barnstaple EX31 3FG.
Please call your normal practice for more information or if you would like to attend.

Wishing all of our clients a happy and healthy New Year!

2020-02-04T09:41:51+00:00February 4th, 2020|0 Comments

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