Are your lambs fully, partially or not protected against clostridial disease?
Every year we hear of lamb losses due to pulpy kidney. Some farmers have one, while others see a few each week - and it is always in their big lambs ready for the works! Such a shame to get them to this stage and for them to die in the paddock.
Many lambs are vaccinated these days at tailing. This vaccine is the sensitiser and gets the body ready for an upcoming infection. But if that infection does not come and there is no booster vaccine given, then that immunity is only very short-lived. So the booster should be given between 4 and 8 weeks later. If you have missed this time frame that's not a major, but it would be good to get it into the lambs soon!
A high-risk time for lambs to have clostridial diseases is when there are fattening crops available. Any change in feed will increase the risk of clostridial disease - especially Clostridia sordellii. This is where the Ultravac SD 6in1 vaccine is really good and has been proven effective when specialist fattening crops have been used, such as red clover.
If you have not vaccinated any lambs yet, now is a good time - remembering to include your replacement ewe lambs too. Getting the two doses into them well before the winter is ideal so that they have plenty of time to develop their immunity before they go onto crop.
There is an option of boosting B12 and or selenium by using a 5in1 with B12. If lambs are getting mineralised drenches, their selenium levels are OK, but the B12 injection can really give them a lift if they are running low.
While you're vaccinating lambs, it's a good time to think about your rams too. Fighting season is well underway, and if your rams have not received a vaccine in the past 12 months, it is a really good time to boost their immunity. Those fighting wounds are ideal for clostridial bacteria - watch them for flies as well! Covexin10 will cover them for 10 different strains - it's the best protection you can get and well worth it for the most valuable animals on many farms.
- Donna Hamilton