Testing ewes is useful for lambing success

The farm team at Robson and Prescott are busy preparing for lambing.

In the minds of many, it is a time of joy — lambs playing in the first warmth of summer.

Scanning ewes is important so feeding can be targeted to these who need it.

Sadly, if rain, and even worse snow, arrives it can be an extremely busy and stressful time. The weather recently has not been kind, but we are all hopeful that the storms will stop and the ground will finally get a chance to dry.

Scanning ewes is important so feeding can be targeted to these who need it.

If more than two per cent of ewes are empty at scanning, it is worth investigating the cause — poor tup fertility, liver fluke, poor condition, thin, old or non-cycling ewes. Infectious diseases are all responsible for high barren rates. Toxoplasmosis and Border Disease are often to blame. MSD run a subsided blood testing for Toxoplasmosis.

Blood testing ewes to check energy and protein levels four to six weeks before lambing is valuable to prevent pre-pregnancy problems, such as Twin Lamb Disease.

Ten per cent of lamb growth occurs in the last eight weeks of pregnancy and an expanding uterus puts pressure on the rumen.

The quality of colostrum and volume of milk a ewe can produce is dependant on her having the correct protein and energy levels. Checking these well before lambing gives plenty of time to adjust feeding levels. We sample six triplets and six twins to get a picture of what is going on.

Lambing lists are available at the practice. Contact Julia Tym if you have not received one and she will be able to email it to you.

January is always a busy month for the puppy parties, and thanks to our nurses, in particular Helen, Tuesday nights in the practice are bursting with puppies.

All puppies that have received their second vaccination with us are eligible to come. These free parties give owners and their puppies a chance to socialise.

There are short presentations on walking, feeding and training, etc. The parties are informal and fun, and a mop and bucket is always on hand. If you have been in for second vaccination make sure you register at reception to come along.

Lastly a reminder to all dog owners— by law all dogs must be microchipped by April 6, 2016. Please call us if you still need to get your dog chipped.

By Kate Matheson, Director and Vet