Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Lesson in vaccinating the sheep

Hooray - the flock is now vaccinated for another year against some nasties like clostridial diseases and pasturella (thanks to Heptavac) and bluetongue (thanks to BTV8). The bluetongue vaccine is more about overall flock management as bluetongue is spread by midges going from animal to animal. There is actually a big drive on in the UK to become bluetongue free this year and let's hope that becomes a reality. The Heptavac vaccine is more about protecting each sheep individually from clostridial diseases and pasturella and very importantly passing on some of that protection to the new born lambs who will only need a booster vaccine after the first month or so.
The vet came to give us a hand and show us how to administer the vaccine. We got to vaccinate quite a lot of the sheep ourselves under her watchful eye and going forward we will now be able to administer the vaccine ourselves without vet assistance.

We have also sent away a faeces sample of the sheep off for analysis so that we can see if it is necessary to give the sheep any worming treatment before lambing. We certainly wouldn't want to give any unnecessary treatment, not only is it extra handling of the sheep at a fragile time with lambing around the corner but it also builds up resistance to the worming treatment in the long run which leaves you high and dry if there is a worm problem later on.
It's all about little steps and each day learning a bit more I guess.
So now we are almost ready for lambing - only 3 weeks to go and I'm sure they will fly by.

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