May 12, 2009

Facial Eczema (FE). Farmer Information. Part 16. (Goats). Management

Agriculture, farming, animal husbandry, animal health, disease, Facial Eczema, zinc, prevention, goats, management

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

16. FACIAL ECZEMA: (Goats). Management.
  • Goats are generally more resistant to FE than sheep, and their browsing habits make them less prone to ingesting spores. 
  •  Milking goats are at greatest risk.
  • 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.
  • Spray pastures with fungicide.
  • Check that spray unit is properly calibrated and purchase fungicide early.
  • Use a suitable zinc prevention method. In highly toxic conditions use zinc oxide prevention as for sheep. There is no research information at present on effective dose rates for goats.
  • Provide supplementary feed (crops, fodder, hay or silage). Use to reduce 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 kidding allows for early weaning and good growth before disposal of sale stock.
Care for affected stock.
  • Confine in shaded area, barn etc.
  •  Prevent or treat flystrike and infections which may occur.
  • Provide access to water and quality feed. Goats with clinical FE will prefer to graze at night or in overcast conditions.

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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