Husbandry procedures at the point of lambing with reference to perinatal lamb mortality

Fiona Douglas, Neil Sargison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A questionnaire was created, then piloted and refined before distribution to all Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies veterinary students ahead of some undertaking lambing
extra mural studies. Questions focused on tasks that are carried out to keep ewes and lambs healthy and in a good welfare state during the lambing period, with the aim of allowing presentation of descriptive survey data. Involvement of veterinary students in a retrospective survey is a proven method to provide representative and informed observational data on lambing management practices and perinatal lamb mortality. Our survey suggests that implementation of no single animal husbandry task or procedure will enhance perinatal lamb survival and highlights the need for better data and applied research in the field of perinatal lamb mortality. The widespread use of prophylactic oral and parentral antibiotic lamb treatments at birth is worrying in the context of responsible use of antimicrobial drugs. When considered alongside the percentage of farms not undertaking basic animal husbandry and hygiene methods, our survey highlights opportunities for reduced dependence on medicines through better animal husbandry at the time of lambing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalVeterinary Record
Volume182
Issue number2
Early online date14 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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