May 12, 2009

Facial Eczema (FE). Farmer Information. Part 9. (Sheep). Zinc oxide. Long-term dosing.

Agriculture, farming, animal husbandry, animal health, disease, Facial Eczema, preventoin, zinc, zinc oxide, dosing, long-term dosing, recipes.

By Dr Clive Dalton

Original 1991 information written by Dr Barry Smith and Dr Neale Towers, Ruakura Agricultural Research Station, Hamilton, New Zealand.

9. Facial Eczema: (Sheep). Zinc oxide. Long-term dosing.
  • Sheep should be dosed regularly with zinc oxide throughout late summer and autumn period.
  • Zinc dosing should start at least 2 weeks before dangerous conditions normally occur. In most districts this means dosing should start in early to mid January.
  • Dosing should continue until cooler winter weather conditions occur.
  • Protection can be obtained buy dosing twice weekly, or at weekly or fortnightly intervals. However, at the longer dosing intervals lower levesl of protection can be expected.
  • Weekly dosing should reduce liver damage by 60-70%.
  • Dosing at 2-week intervals will give less protection and reduce liver damage by about half if carried out regularly during the FE season.
  • If dosing at 2-week intervals, the next zinc oxide dose should be brought forward if a danger period occurs in the last half of the interval.
  • Dosing at 2-week intervals has on occasion been associated with salmonellosis outbreaks. Where this has been a problem, a maximum dosing interval of 1 week is recommended.
  • Zinc oxide drenches can be prepared with or without a seaweed “stabliser”.

  • Stablisers have two advantages:
  • (1). They increase the ease of mixing and drenching.
  • (2). They allow the mixing of more concentrated drenches and therefore use smaller drench volumes.
  • Recipes and dose rates of both types of drenhches are provided below. Make sure you use the right dose rate for the type of drench mixed.
Note: Proprietory mixes such as Cozinc (Coastal Biologicals Ltd), Maximix (Bell-Booth Ltd) and Nu Zinc (Nufarm Ltd) should be mixed and used as recommended on the product label.

Unstabilised drench

  • Mix 1 kg zinc oxide with 2.5 litres of water.
  • Sprinkle powder on water and leave to wet.
  • Stir until smooth and lump free.
  • If too stiff to flow through drench gun, add a little more water.
  • If too thin to stay in suspension, stir in a little more zinc oxide powder
  • This produces about 2.7 litres of drench.
Stabilised drench
A more stable and concentrated drench can be made by including either a commercial stabiliser such as CoZinc (Coast Biologicals) or Maximix (Bell-Booth Ltd), or a" farm" strength liquid seaweed fertiliser such as Maxicrop (Bell-Booth Ltd), Green Label Response (Coast Biologicals Ltd), Sea Magic (Yates Ltd).

  • Mix 1 kg zinc oxide with 1 litre of water and 200 ml of "stabiliser".
  • Mix the stabiliser and water first.
  • Sprinkle powder on the water and let settle and wet.
  • Stir to a smooth creamy paste.
  • This produces about 1.4 litres of drench.

Dose rates:
  • Unstabilised - 1 ml/10 kg liveweight x no. of days.
  • Stabilised - 0.5 ml/10 kg liveweight x no of days.

Approximate dose volumes:

Footnote 2009: Zinc boluses are now available. Contact your veterinarian for information.

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.

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