Tips for November
When pasture is in good supply, prices for stock tend to go up. Rather than buying in more stock, consider selling the ones you have for a good profit, and using grass for hay, silage or baleage.
Always think hard about whether you take on extra stock at this time of year. If there is a drought in the next few months, it could be an expensive mistake: the price of supplements will go up, and prices for stock may fall as everyone else needs to sell too.
Any animal that is getting good quality feed and not gaining weight needs to be checked for signs of worms, lice, stiffness in limbs, anaemia (check the inside of the eyelids and gums for pinkness), dehydration, temperature, swollen limbs, and limping. Talk to your vet.
Have you got a faecal egg count monitoring system in place? This is going to become more important as drench resistance builds. Testing a representative group sample or individual animals is cheap, or you can do it yourself with the right equipment.
Watch for lameness. Two common causes are scald (wet-looking, white or pink skin between the toes) or footrot (smelly, black, ooze in cracks or on the hoof). It’s caused by wet grass and/or humid conditions. Trim and clean affected hooves, then bathe in a 10% zinc sulphate solution (add zinc sulphate until it stops dissolving, to give yourself a 10% solution). If one animal has footrot, give all animals a foot bath. Soak for 20 minutes, then stand them somewhere clean and dry (preferably a concreted area) until the hooves are dry.