Agriculture, farming, animal husbandry, animal health, disease, Facial Eczema, zinc, deer, management
By Dr Clive Dalton
Original 1991 information written by Dr Barry Smith and Dr Neale Towers, Ruakura Agricultural Research Station, Hamilton, New Zealand.
17. FACIAL ECZEMA: (Deer). Management.
- Red deer are more susceptible to FE than cattle. Fallow deer are more susceptible than sheep so they need more protection than Reds.
- Make early preparations - in December or early January.
- Learn about spore counting - contact your veterinarian.
- Find out which are your worst paddocks (by spore counting) - avoid grazing them during danger periods.
- Never make stock graze into the base level of pastures. The fungus grows on the litter at the base of the pasture and the spores are concentrated there.
- Choose an appropriate prevention option.
- Spray pastures with fungicide. Check that spray unit is properly calibrated and purchase fungicide early.
- Regular spraying with fungicides provides the most appropriate control method for preventing FE in deer.
- Start the spraying programme early while spore counts are low.
- The effectiveness and safety of zinc as a prevention has not been researched.
- If used, dose rates as for sheep (Fallow deer) and cattle (Red deer) should be followed.
- Because of low water intake, zinc in drinking water is not effective.
- Provide supplementary feed such as hay, silage, meal or crop. Use to reduce the grazing pressure on toxic pastures.
- Get rid of all surplus stock early before spore counts become high. This will relieve pressure on the remaining stock.
- Early and compact fawning allows for early weaning and good growth before disposal of sale stock.
- Confine in shaded area, barn etc.
- Provide access to water and quality feed. Deer with clinical FE will prefer to graze at night or in overcast conditions.
- Take care moving affected animals, temporary blindness may cause extreme distress and result in self-inflicted injuries.
This material is provided in good faith for information purposes only, and the author does not accept any liability to any person for actions taken as a result of the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) provided in these pages.