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Looking ahead

Potential animal health issues, tasks to consider and reminders for this month include…

Be prepared for FE season, plan Zinc dosing either through water or Boluses or consider pasture spraying with fungicides. Prevention needs to be in place before issues arise so watch spore counts on your property.


  • Monitor cows clinical mastitis and be aware of rising bulk milk somatic cell counts particularly if using relief milkers over the holiday period.
  • Stay sharp on heat detection as you move through the mating period.
  • Keep on top of bull management – remove lame or sick bulls ASAP.
  • Ensure excellent weaner management – drench regularly, weigh to monitor growth rates, potential trace mineral supplementation, allocate adequate good quality pasture.
  • Continue to use calf meal with coccidiostat for one to two months after weaning to avoid coccidiosis commonly seen at this time of year.
  • Book in for early pregnancy scanning, ideally six weeks after end of AI.
  • Hot, dry dusty weather can increase the incidence of pink eye. Monitor for early signs of discharge from, or white spots on, eye(s) and act quickly to separate from the mob and treat.


  • Barbers pole – weather dependent, sheep may need specific drenching for this parasite sooner rather than later – pale gums, depressed, exercise intolerant, increased breathing.
  • Ewes at weaning – monitor body condition and udders.
  • Lambs at weaning – parasite management, vitamin B12 testing, fly strike control.
  • Ensure finishing cattle are vaccinated with 5n1 or 10n1 to avoid deaths from clostridial diseases, these often occur when animals are growing well on lush pasture and can be hard to distinguish from bloat.
  • Ram preparations – plan and book in ram palpations, Brucellosis testing and organise teasers, if not done already.


  • Plan preparations for de-velveting.
  • Keep an eye out for ticks.
  • Monitor hinds regularly during fawning


  • Watch for Ryegrass staggers – temperament changes and neurological signs (increased sensitivity to stimuli, wobbly gait etc).
  • Equine asthma – dry cough, discharge from nose, fast breathing with increased effort.
  • Check for conjunctivitis – swollen eyelids, closed eye, and discharge from the eye.
  • Weaning is a potentially stressful period for youngsters so ensure excellent nutrition for young stock, with slow food transitions. Plan ahead for branding, identification/registration and further vaccination(s).
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