Watch for milk fever in sheep dur­ing grain feed­ing

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FARM SCENE -

At this time of year an out­break of milk fever or hypocal­caemia could be ex­pected and may only be­come ap­par­ent by the con­fronting sight of dead and dy­ing sheep, es­pe­cially after feed­ing grain for a pro­longed pe­riod.

Hypocal­caemia, or milk fever, is a de­fi­ciency of cal­cium in the blood.

It usu­ally oc­curs in ma­ture, fat ewes dur­ing the last six weeks of preg­nancy or the first 10 days after lamb­ing, al­though other classes of sheep may also be af­fected.

Milk fever of­ten fol­lows a stress­ful event, such as shear­ing, crutch­ing, trans­porta­tion, driv­ing, yard­ing, fast­ing or in­clement weather.

Milk fever usu­ally oc­curs on ei­ther rapidly grow­ing pas­ture, lush pas­ture, green ce­real crops, when feed­ing grain, or on pas­ture that has ox­alate con­tain­ing plants such as sor­rel and sour­sob.

A sheep af­fected by milk fever will ini­tially stag­ger and have mus­cle tremors, after which it will be­come weak, slip into a coma and die quite rapidly within four to six hours.

Dur­ing a post-mortem, there is lit­tle ev­i­dence to be seen in a sheep that has died from milk fever.

Cases of milk fever are of­ten con­fused with, or mis­di­ag­nosed, with preg­nancy tox­aemia or twin lamb dis­ease.

Milk fever char­ac­ter­is­tics in­clude: a rapid on­set; af­fected sheep re­main alert; death oc­curs quickly; a large num­ber of cases may oc­cur at the one time; cases oc­cur on lush feed rather than lack of feed; and, a good re­sponse to the ap­pro­pri­ate treat­ment.

Sheep af­fected with milk fever should be treated as a mat­ter of ur­gency with cal­cium/mag­ne­sium so­lu­tion (of­ten known as 4in-1) given un­der the skin. Cal­cium/mag­ne­sium so­lu­tion is read­ily avail­able from a vet­eri­nary prac­tice or ru­ral mer­chan­diser.

Cases may be pre­vented by adding a cal­cium sup­ple­ment if feed­ing grain, or by giv­ing dry roughage to sheep on lush feed.

Mar­ket re­port for 26th and 27th Septem­ber Wednes­day Fat Sale head 95. Thurs­day Bull and Cow Sale, 4 bulls, 57 cows.

With a pub­lic hol­i­day on Fri­day lim­ited num­bers were sold. There was only a small num­ber of veal­ers which sold to strong de­mand to top at 338.6 cents per kg. There was some good heifers which sold to 307.6. There was a few steers which sold to 240 cents. 18 heifers made to 307.6. 22 steers made to 240. 54 veal made to 338.6, with the yard av­er­age 223.5. Thurs­day’s sale had less cows of­fered. Some bet­ter con­di­tioned dairy cows sold okay. The de­crease in num­bers was again the Grand Fi­nal hol­i­day. Top cow made 205.6. The top bull made 200 cents.

Veal­ers 1 CharX LBT Glover, Ny­ora 385 2 Ang LBT Glover, Ny­ora 378 1 Lim D.L Ro­gosin, Seav­iew 415 1 Lim MW Reynolds, Hazel­wood 315 1 B/B BJ&WT Wil­liams, L/touche 450 Steers 1 R/B 1 B/B 1 Bri Heifers 1 Lim F Bra­gag­nolo, Trafal­gar Sth 1 Lim F Bra­gag­nolo, Trafal­gar Sth 1 Ang M Cal­abrese, Trar­al­gon 1 Ang A&KJ McFar­lane, Modella Ex­port Cows & Heifers

2 Char W&H Klin­gler, Strz­elecki Dariy Cows 4 Frn SJ Allen, Drouin Sth 553 1 Frn Louden Farms, Modella 675 1 Frn Stan­vale Farms, Neerim Nth 650 1 Frn Up­ston Farms, Drouin 600 1 Frn R&M Pandolfo, Lard­ner 685 1 Frn S&L Fin­ger, Yan­nathan 575 Bulls 1 Frn 1 S/H M Cal­abrese, Trar­al­gon 505 BJ&WT Wil­liams, L/touche 465 Wol­swin­kle, Ty­ers 690 SJ Allen, Drouin Sth A&KJ McFar­lane, Modella

425 465 485 450


338.6 1303 336.6 1270 325.2 1349 307.2 967 299.2 1346

240.0 1212 240.0 1116 217.2 1498

307.6 1307 307.6 1430 254.2 1232 249.2 1121

205.6 1156

196.6 1087 188.2 1270 174.2 1132 172.7 1035 168.2 1152 166.2 955

785 200.0 1570 660 195.2 1288 1. Scotts, 2. SEJ, 3.

Land­mark, 4. El­ders, 5. NGL. We have a Face­book page. Like and fol­low us on VLE War­ragul.

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