Ewe abortions: causes and prevention

Agridirect.ie discusses the causes of abortion in ewes and outlines some measures that farmers can take to mitigate risk.

Flock health post tupping

At this stage in the year, most ewes have already gone to the ram. After a successful tupping season (hopefully), our thoughts now turn to maintaining ewe health during the gestation period. Only ewes in peak physical condition are likely to birth strong, healthy lambs. Ewes in poor health are always liable to abort the foetus or fail to hold to the ram. Therefore, it is essential that we ensure the flock has access to plenty of high-quality feed, and that our animals’ diets are supplemented with vitamin and mineral drenches/boluses.

Preventing abortive disease

Even ewes in good physical condition can end up aborting lambs due to infectious disease. Small numbers of abortions among healthy animals may result from poor handling or in-fighting among sheep. However, if your flock has been hit by large numbers of ewe abortions in recent years, it is possible that you have a problem with enzootic abortion attributable to infection by Toxoplasma gondii or Campylobacter. It is estimated that these infections are responsible for up to 80 percent of later stage abortion in ewes.  

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Flock fertility: now is the time to invest

With breeding season now clearly on the horizon for many farmers, Agridirect.ie discusses the use of boluses to boost flock fertility.

Flock fertility: now is the time to invest!

While sheep farmers are enjoying high prices for finished lambs this year, past experience of buoyant finished lamb prices will prompt many to think that it won’t last forever and may not even last long. Of course, better prices are only what lamb producers deserve but now thoughts are swiftly turning towards breeding next year’s crop of lambs. No one can predict what next year’s prices will bring, but one way of driving profitability on any sheep farm is a high level of productivity, in particular a high number of lambs sold per ewe.

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Clostridial vaccination: have your lambs had their jabs yet?

Lamb Vaccination 001As summer gets underway, Agridirect offers farmers some advice on the prevention of clostridial diseases in sheep, and provides some information about the best vaccines available on the market. 

Here comes the sun!

Well folks, it seems fair to say that summer has arrived, and not before we had need of it. Last weekend saw highs of 21 or 22 degrees in some parts of the country. In northern and western counties, where growth has been abysmal until now, grass is finally on the move. As we move into June, we can almost smell the first cut of grass! Continue reading “Clostridial vaccination: have your lambs had their jabs yet?”

Hypothermia in lambs: causes, cures and prevention

This lambing season, Agridirect discusses the causes of hypothermia in lambs, and looks at preventions and cures.

It’s all lambs, lambs, lambs

In parts of the country this week, you won’t pass a mile of road without seeing fields of lambs. Newborns still wobbly on their legs; stronger ones risking their first playful skips; and some older lambs that were born in a shed in the depths of winter, now grazing with the wisdom of maturity.

Although this site is enough to make us pine for warmer days, the weather seems reluctant to acknowledge the arrival of spring. Wind still sweeps in from the Atlantic, bringing with it clouds heavy with rain. Last week, this fell as snow in parts of the country, especially on high ground.

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