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Spring is Baby Season

While it feels like winter has just begun, our spring herds of sheep, goats and cattle will bring new life into the world before we know it. Producers can maximize the health of both dam and baby and minimize emergencies with some preparation before babies arrive.

Excellent nutrition through the winter in the form of high quality hay and mineral supplementation will support a smooth transition into lactation. We see down cows most commonly in the late winter and early spring due to mineral deficiencies and malnutrition. Sheep and goats often need some grain supplementation in the last month of pregnancy to help meet their nutritional needs as they lose space for bulky hay in their abdomen.

Pre-kidding/lambing is the ideal time to booster the CDT vaccine in small ruminants to improve colostrum quality and cover the risk of tetanus during delivery.

Sheep and goats also tend to have increased parasite problems in late pregnancy and early lactation. Keep an eye on FAMACHA scores and collect samples for fecal examination if necessary. We never recommend blanket deworming in small ruminants, but this is the most critical time to identify and address parasite problems before they spiral out of control.

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