News & Advice


Swayback in lambs

Ewes that undergo copper deficiency during pregnancy can give birth to offspring with congenital nervous system disease. Lambs may appear normal at birth, and they may not express neurological disease until they are 1 week to several months of age (even though the condition is a result of deficiency of the dam) – this is […]


Novel drench use in R1 calves

  Many farming systems have designated youngstock properties or areas of the farm where youngstock do most of their rotational grazing. Whilst this is a sound and practical way of managing the all-important formative years of your cattle, it is not always the best way to manage the unseen challenge lurking beneath – that is […]


Post-drench checks

A faecal egg count performed 10-14 days after a drench is a simple and cost-effective means of checking that the drench you are using is working. This can be done either after your pre-weaning or weaning lamb drench or at 50-70 days after capsule insertion. The utilisation of this procedure is becoming more and more […]


FEC Device

Faecal egg counting (FEC) for cattle and sheep is an increasingly important tool in the ongoing battle to slow or delay the onset of drench resistance. Technology is evolving quickly in this area with several “new” methods emerging. Manual FEC, using a modified McMaster technique, is the age-old tried and true method for monitoring parasite […]


M. bovis testing in beef cows

It has been almost 4 years since Mycoplasma bovis was first detected in New Zealand. Not long after its diagnosis, New Zealand embarked on an ambitious eradication strategy. That in itself has caused a great deal of trauma for many farmers who have seen their herds destroyed upon detection of the disease. Here we are, […]


Restricted Veterinary Medicine Authorisations

Many sheep, beef and deer farmers will be reviewing their annual scripts at this time of year, so why not use this process to your advantage rather than treating it as a pain in the proverbial? Often this is your one chance to sit down with your Vetlife vet and revise your animal health plan […]


Iodine and selenium supplementation in ewes

Improving your lambing percentage is one of the keys to attaining higher sheep farm productivity and profit.  A successful mating period boils down to three essential elements: maximising the number of ewes mated in their first cycle minimising the number of ewes not mated maximising the twinning rate The trace element status of ewes in […]


Crop transitioning

Planning for transitioning stock onto winter feed crops is of great importance in both preventing animal health issues and achieving intakes for maximum production. The goal, when transitioning stock onto a crop, is to give the rumen environment time to adjust to the new feed and prevent the development of problems such as acidosis on […]


Clostridial disease

Clostridial diseases are diseases caused by bacteria that are able to form resistant spores. These spores are resistant to extremes in temperature and can survive in soil for many years, with some clostridial bacteria also existing within the normal intestinal flora of healthy stock. Under the right conditions, such as when a spore is present […]


Very unhumorous humeral fractures

We have all heard the disaster stories of farms having up to 30%, and higher in some cases, of their heifers becoming acutely lame in a forelimb, resulting in them having to be euthanised. Often these are well- grown healthy heifers just walking around in the paddock. A “gunshot” noise can be heard, and the […]


Management of the ewe hogget pregnancy

In-lamb ewe hoggets are a priority class over the winter because feed levels must meet the liveweight gain requirements of the hogget as well as the needs of the fetus and mammary gland. Management strategies must ensure maximum production of both hogget and offspring to weaning and not compromise two-tooth breeding. Feeding during pregnancy must […]


Live export of cattle from NZ – an urgent plea

If any livestock agent offers a deal for the sale and export of your dairy or beef cattle – please remind them (the agent) and yourself that, until certain on-farm animal health export certificate conditions are met, those animals may not be going anywhere. In other words, until certain mandatory export conditions for the farm […]



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