The springtime sight of a sun-filled shed with lambs or calves bouncing around makes us smile.
But clean sheds don’t just look good. Hygiene is critical during lambing and calving to help reduce stock losses and anti biotic use through infections such as:
- watery mouth
- joint ill
Good hygiene practices help reduce antibiotic and labour costs, whilst healthy stock will help to maximise income for your farm business.
There are some simple steps that you can take to improve your lambing and calving hygiene practices:
- use disposable gloves, wear clean clothes and disinfect hands regularly;
- apply iodine on navals – spray or dip the naval as soon as possible after birth, and again a few hours later. This will help prevent infections, such as naval ill or E. coli;
- ensure all feeding equipment, such as stomach tubes, is disinfected between use;
- keep isolation pens for sick ewes, lambs, calves or heifers as separation helps minimise the spread of disease;
- clean and disinfect pens and housing regularly. Ensure plenty of clean, dry bedding is provided. Removing wet straw and afterbirth will help keep pens clean and fresh, and reduce the likelihood of disease;
- Turn out as soon as possible.
There are no guarantees when it comes to animal health. But maintaining good hygiene will help to reduce livestock ill health at lambing and calving. Happy, healthy stock not only means lower medication use and associated costs, but reduced stress and better growth rates.
If you would like to talk to us about your animal health requirements call your AF Livestock Inputs team on 01603 881905 or email email@example.com.