WOF for this season's lambs

Lamb_1.JPGSpring has sprung and summer is fast rolling in, so it's time to think about your checklist for docking.

If you vaccinated your ewes pre-lambing, the antibodies in the colostrum will have given these lambs protection from birth.  However, at 8-12 weeks of age, that maternal antibody protection is wearing off and fast-growing lambs will be susceptible to clostridial diseases such as pulpy kidney and blackleg.

Lamb_Vaccine_pack_Clear_1.jpgIf you did not vaccinate your ewes pre-lamb this year, the risk to your valuable lambs is even greater.  Using Lamb vaccine for these lambs should be a priority to provide immediate protection against tetanus and pulpy kidney.  A clostridial vaccine such as 5-in-1 is cheap insurance against preventable losses and strongly recommended for lambs at docking with a booster in 4-6 weeks.

Don't forget if you have scabby mouth on your property, Scabiguard® vaccination at docking is advisable.  Scabby mouth is a painful and highly infectious viral disease that will result in reduced growth rates.  Vaccination is the best way to avoid this set back.

Lighter ewes may benefit from a drench at docking, particularly those not treated with a capsule pre-lamb.  This will not only improve milk production, resulting in better lamb growth rates, but will also reduce potential pasture larval contamination for lambs starting to graze.

Internal parasite burdens in lambs will certainly check growth rates but tapeworm in particular can increase dag formation.  This will increase the risk of flystrike in these animals.  Using a lamb drench which includes a tape-specific active such as First or Iver Matrix Tape may be suitable for your farm.  Contact your Franklin Vets team for advice.

Fly challenges in this area can start as early as October, so don't forget to treat lambs at docking to prevent fly strike of the docking wound.  With increasing levels, of triflumuron and diflubenzuron resistance in both the Australian green blowfly and the common green blowfly, not all products may be effective on your property.