Saturday, November 22, 2014

Not So Glamorous Considerations for Fall Farm Life


          I haven't forgotten all of you.  Life has been very busy here.  We have a new family member and since human beings are harder to integrate to the pack than canine, feline, camelids, or equines, it has been taking some time. In addition, we are helping with some of the animal work for another family which leaves my internet time to a fraction of what it once had been.

                     If you use natural signs from animals to determine a seasonal weather forecast, then this will be a difficult Winter.  All of the horses had developed a thick Winter coat by late September.  They also had developed thick fetlock (leg) hair by October. This is surprising, because they are all housed in a warm indoor barn at night. 

                    Although all of the immunizations for all of the species are up to date, we worm all species every Spring and every Autumn, and with all the activity here, I was late in both dog and equine preventive worming. This year, we also have the challenge of sheep, and since the sheep and the horses share some common pastures at times, the sheep may bring an added source of worms or other issues.  Yesterday completed the preventive worming for the farm, which is generally delivered once a day for three consecutive days.
                  If you think that your farm, large or otherwise might benefit from preventive worming as I have described, I have a few cautions.  The size of your farm, it's location in the country or in the world, the age and type of your animals, the animals ages,  and the available over the counter preventives in your area, all play a role in what is possible or wise.  Ask your vet as to how best to prevent infections in your location.  You should know something about the most common helminthic infections (worms) in your region, and something about the most common viral, bacterial and other infections which afflict the species you house.  Once you know something about the issues to be avoided, you can take steps to avoid these, using both normal preventive techniques (such as diligent water changing, etc.) and by using preventive medications, when necessary.