Getting your calf or lamb

Getting your calf or lamb
By Lucy Picott, Veterinarian, Anexa Te Kauwhata

There are plenty of places to source calves and lambs and there are pros and cons to each. The most important thing is to get them from somewhere that knows their complete history. This includes their COLOSTRUM INTAKE which is extremely important. Calves and lambs are born without the antibodies required to fight disease; these are provided by the mother through their first milk called colostrum. This must be provided in the first 6 to 12 hours of life, as by 24 hours the gut is ‘closed’ and can no longer absorb antibodies across it.

Calves and lambs that do not get colostrum are much more susceptible to infectious diseases and, are less likely to survive.

There are lots of options and choices when selecting calves or lambs and we recommend doing your research into breed and age. Older animals cost more initially but often save you money in the long run!
Another money saving trick is to learn to recognise healthy animals; healthy animals are more likely to stay healthy:
• Navel- is it dry and clean?
• Stomach full?
• Ears up?
• Bright demeanour?
• Tail and coat clean?

For further information or advice, please talk to your local Anexa FVC Vet.

Date Added: Thursday, 25th August 2016


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