Farmers lose many newborn lambs in the cold, wet conditions.LIBBY PRICE July 17, 2014 8:00am
The late winter cold snap on top of record autumn rain has killed many newborn lambs in the Benalla district.
One farmer who didn’t want to be named lost 12 per cent of his lambs from a mob of pregnant ewes he bought which lambed later than his other sheep.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries district veterinary officer John Ryan said ironically it was often the good farm managers with improved pastures who had the highest mortality rates in sheep.
‘‘The worst managers have the best success because there’s more rubbish around that stock won’t eat, which gives them protection — like tussocks and fallen trees.
‘‘It’s a matter of picking the paddocks for lambing ewes and sheep off shears. If they get wet and there’s wind they’ll lose up to 18 per cent of body heat fairly rapidly and start going into hypothermia, then comatose and then they die,’’ Dr Ryan said.
He said it helped to put sheep in a rough old paddock or on the leeward side of a hill.
‘‘Some farmers says shearing ewes prior to lambing encourages the mothers to find shelter for themselves, which helps save the newborn lambs. When they’re just born they’re drenched in amniotic fluid and you can lose them hand over fist, basically to exposure.’’
A study by the DEPI that looked at 200 lamb deaths in recent years concluded most died at birth or soon after. While many were found mutilated by foxes or crows, post mortems showed very few lambs were found to have been killed by predators.
Dr Ryan said lambs could be saved when they were at the comatose stage if their body temperature was quickly brought back to normal.
‘‘The old-fashioned remedy of popping the lamb into the Aga stove, obviously not in the hot oven, but to warm them up, or wrapping them up and putting them in front of the fire .
‘‘Feeding them infant formula will cause more problems than it solves.
‘‘Once they’re up bouncing around like a normal lamb, they have a better chance if you put them out with their mothers.’’
Two men charged over the armed robbery of a Shepparton service station have been remanded in custody until next week.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Echuca College students Calum Pearson, Luke Judd, Kiriana Epararma, Harriet Nilon, Kyle Melhuish and Stephanie Chong are heading to China.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Farmers and anyone interested in big boys’ toys will be fascinated to check out an unmanned helicopter in action at an Ardmona orchard.
Judge comments, If I were single, I'd marry this steak!
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.