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‘Turn out ewes and lambs to grass as soon as the weather allows’

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Farmers should turn out ewes and lambs to grass as soon as the weather allows, writes Nigel Gould, CAFRE Beef & Sheep Development Adviser.

Where good quality grass is available and weather conditions have improved, you may not need to supplement ewes with concentrates.

However, for ewes rearing triplets or year-old hoggets rearing twins, supplementation may be required. Be aware of the risk of grass tetany associated with early spring grass and poor weather conditions.

Magnesium lick buckets are the most common method of prevention. 

Healthy mature ewes generally have good immunity to most worms. It is common practice to treat ewes for worms after lambing, as traditionally immunity levels were expected to reduce around this time.

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However, recent research on anthelmintic resistance suggests that there is no need to treat healthy, fit ewes for worms.

Ideally, use faecal sampling to identify if there is a need to treat for worms.

In all cases, talk to your vet about the best worm control strategy for your flock. Treat all ewes for fluke.

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