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Health & Welfare Bulletin No.35 : Autumn Catch Up

Autumn has arrived and hopefully you all have your winter feed either in stock or reserved for you.

If you have hard feed left over from last winter, check it for signs of mould. If mouldy, throw it away as it could harbor bacteria. (My birds love it but if you feed the birds, do it out of the reach of vermin or you are asking for trouble).

Now is a good time to give the annual vaccination to your animals. They should all have had a good summer with nice grass to get them ready for the winter ahead. (Hopefully we will not have as bad a winter as the last two winters have been.) Worming should also be considered.

Due to the weather conditions, Horse Chestnut trees and Oak trees have been producing a huge number of conkers and acorns. Both of these, in quantity, are poisonous to Camelids. It would be a good idea to collect as many of these seeds as possible if you have them in your fields and remove them. Usually camelids do not bother eating them BUT if the grass has now been eaten down or the animal are a bit stressed, they tend to turn to conkers and acorns. Weanlings are a high risk in this respect as they are stressed about ‘Mum’ not being around anymore.

Remember if we have a really cold spell, below freezing for a number of days, always break any ice on the water and look out for signs of your camelids not drinking. Some camelids will not drink freezing water. In these cases (very few) add a little hot water to the bucket so the water is cold but not icy and check the animal drinks some. Hay is very dry and therefore our animals need more water in the winter than in the summer when they get a lot of their water from the grass.

Don’t forget, you all have a Regional Representatives to help with any problems. You will find their names and details on the back of the Llama Link magazine. Please do not feel embarrassed contacting them – that is what they are there for.

Vice Chairman BLS & Health & Welfare Representative
Nutfield Park Farm, South Nutfield, REDHILL, Surrey Tel: 01737-823375

20 September 2011