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.’’
Raising awareness about family violence's impact on children message of network's new poster
Police are currently at the scene of a double fatal collision involving two cars in at the Cahill Road, Gilmore Street and Woods Road intersection in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
The Echuca construction team behind Junction Moama has taken out one of the top honours at a regional building awards ceremony.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
About 7600 residents served by Goulburn Valley Water are affected by a boil-water advisory.
Scone Equine Hospital relaunches local veterinary practice.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
Cross-border rivals Cobram and Barooga football netball clubs will contest the 38th Cobram Courier Shield this weekend.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The G-MW Murray gravity irrigation system has received 35 per cent and the Goulburn system 42 per cent of allocation from July 1.
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.