News & Advice

Calving or lambing?

Jul 9, 2021 | Lifestyle Farmers

Travis Scott, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Raglan

At this point in the season most people will have, or be close to having, calves and lambs frolicking around their paddocks. Most of the time it is a nice stress-free surprise to have a calf or lamb magically appear in the paddock overnight, with a happy, healthy mum doing all the work. However, sometimes it does not go as planned. It is important that you know what to do when things go wrong and when to intervene if required. Common problems at this time of year include difficulty calving/lambing, infections post-lambing/calving, and animals going “down” (laying down and unwilling or unable to get up). For most of these conditions, prompt veterinary assistance/advice is the best course of action.

In the springtime, it is a good idea to have products and equipment on-hand to look after orphan calves/lambs, assist with calving/lambing, and treat basic problems with your animals. Having these products on hand is very useful afterhours, when you will not be able to purchase the products without calling a Vet out to the property. Good equipment to have on-hand includes:

  • Milk replacer
  • Feeding bottle with appropriate teat
  • Acetol/ketol or starter drench for treating sleepy sickness and low Calcium
  • Lube, long gloves, calving chains/ropes

When to call the Vet depends on your level of experience. If one of your animals appears to be sick, not eating, or in distress, the sooner you provide assistance to the animal, the more likely there will be a good outcome. If an animal is giving birth, and does not appear to be making any progress after two to three hours, the animal most likely will need assistance from yourself or a vet. Remember, if you have any concerns or questions regarding what to look for and how to help, do not hesitate to give our friendly vets a call. They will be more than happy to answer your questions.

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