July should be a fairly quiet time in the flock calendar and hopefully, many lambs are close to finishing or already away. It’s now time to figure out why we had marked certain ewes for culling back at lambing time and also select or source whatever replacements are needed to keep. Roland introduces us to our useful and snazzy flock health planner.
As it creeps closer to tupping time and the start of the new flock year why not take the time to put together a plan and organize any treatments, vaccinations or key events for the next twelve months.
The efficacy of many of the treatments and vaccines that we administer relies on using the correct product at the right time. This article highlights just a few of the key elements of a flock health planner that are coming up soon.
Fluke treatment is probably next on the agenda for this year and if July and August are as wet as June then earlier treatment than last year will be required.
To target the early, immature stages of liver fluke that will cause disease in the autumn, a trichlabendazole based product such as Endofluke should be used. Remember fluke faecal egg counts are less useful early in the autumn because the fluke are migrating through the liver and not yet producing eggs. This is also a good time to body condition score ewes and select those that may need extra feeding and possibly worming.
The timing of vaccines for enzootic and toxoplasma abortion is also important. Plan what date tups will be introduced and aim to have ewes vaccinated at least four weeks prior to mating. For Enzovax, re-vaccination is recommended every three to four years depending on the farm management practices. Re-vaccination with toxovax is required after two years.
Pre-tupping is also a good time to screen a sample of breeding ewes for trace element deficiencies. Some trace element deficiencies can cause poor conception rates and scanning percentages and can be easily supplemented if need be. A basic screen will check cobalt, copper and selenium levels and it is often recommended that iodine levels are also monitored.
A wall calendar like the one shown can be a very useful guide to help remind us of upcoming events and ensure that we are prepared in advance. If it is something you think would be useful on your farm then please let us know and we can arrange a flock health plan visit.