Adult hind health

Adult hind health

Mismothering Weigh yearling hinds - 12 month weight
Failure of hind-calf bonding in the first minutes and hours after birth causes great loss on some farms.Social and environmental factors are most likely. Plan ahead to ensure appropriate paddocks and social groups are used for calving. Pay particular attention to Hiding placed for hinds to calve - fence pacing indicates distress and lack of hiding spaces Shelter from wind and sun Knowing 12 month weights help to determine. Whether growth and nutrition was adequate during spring. Target growth rates from now until mating and whether supplements will be required to achieve puberty. Whether subclinical disease or parasitism is likely to be occurring.Target 12 month liveweights of 70-75% of mature weight are realistic.
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Dystocia Lactation
Hinds may have difficulty calving because the calf head or leg is tucked back or the calf is presented breach or deformed. Overfatness and lack of fitness in hinds also increases dystocia. Intervention, if done, should be sooner rather than later. within 12 hours of start of labour and 1 hour from calf seen at the vulva. Hinds may require sedation and calf rejection is common after an assisted calving. Weigh up the value of the hind and calf against the risk of disturbing the rest of the mob to muster the hind Hinds are lactating for 3-4 months in pre-rut weaning systems. Lactating hinds require nearly twice as much energy from food compared to non-lactating hinds. Good quality feed is required to ensure adequate intakes. Hinds that produce high milk volume and large weaners usually lose condition but should not fall below BCS 2.5 or mating will be compromised. There is little information regarding the protein and mineral requirements of lactating hinds.
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Copper deficiency risk - swayback Weigh yearling hinds
Monitor hinds for hind limb weakness, collapse and unco-ordination during summer. May indicate copper deficiency. Judge number of hinds affected to make future decisions. Too late to treat. Prevention should be targeted for winter and spring and based on cost-benefit analysis and other risk factors. Weighing R2 hinds prior to mating will help determine: Mating weights (target 80-90% of mature liveweight).Nutrition level during summer. Nutrition level during summer.Whether a drench is necessary pre-mating.Whether supplements are required to achieve puberty and pregnancy
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Wean, teeth, BCS, udder Drench some hinds if high parasite risk
At weaning hinds can be checked.Udder: Did the hind lactate and rear a fawn to weaning?Udder: Did the hind lactate and rear a fawn to weaning?Teeth: Does she have sufficient teeth for another winter? Culling before mating will allow more feed for hinds that are to be kept.Condition Score/Weigh. Hinds in poor condition are likely to have reared a fawn. BCS<2 decreases chances of conceiving. Poor condition hinds at higher risk of parasites and winter stress. High parasite risk in adult hinds. Wapiti genetics.Grazed on same areas as youngstock.Warm, wet autumn, especially following a dry summer.Drought and poor nutrition causing weight loss in hinds during lactation.Concurrent diseases.Old age, poor condition.Drench before winter with a drench effective against ostertagia-type parasites. E.g moxidectin injection (off label) or oxfendazole double dose (off label)
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CIDRs Artificial insemination
One or two sheep + goat CIDRs 14 days prior to planned AI.Careful planning and preparation of hinds is required for successful AI. Hinds should be weaned, in moderate condition, on excellent nutrition, proven breeders and in good health. CIDRs should be inserted by a trained person carefully and fully into the anterior vagina.Anecdotal evidence suggests no difference between 1 or 2 CIDRs Take time to consider the benefits, costs and risks.Ensure CIDR removal and PMSG injection were timed correctly (50-56 hours prior to AI). Use only a competent AI technician. Hinds should be fed well before, during and after AI to help ensure conception.Conception rates of 80% + have been achieved.Late March/early April is best time but can go earlier depending on farm.
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AI Back up stag Pregnancy
10 days after AI will allow easy differentiation of AI versus backup conceptions at ultrasound scanning time provided scanned less than 60 days after AI.Most hinds that missed AI will cycle 18 days later but short cycles do occur 232 days for straight red deer, 250 for straight wapiti and somewhere between for hybrids.Nutritional requirements = maintenance until last month. Problems during pregnancy are rare.
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Pregnancy testing/BCS Copper tests dry hinds livers at works
From 30 days after stag out or earlier if not keeping late hinds.Use information to: Cull empty hinds; Sell in-calf hinds; determine whether anything went wrong with mating; estimate calves/weaners to sell; determine rate of abortion by checking pre-calving.Fetal aging allows separation of early and late fawners, investigation of problems with stags or hinds cycling, determine AI vs backup conception, determine conception date profiles for consecutive years, select and keep early fawners and cull late fawners.Ultrasound is safe for the hind and fetus and is highly accurate with a skilled scanner. Condition score at scanning to monitor changes during mating and winter Testing liver copper levels will give an indication of the body’s reserves and farm copper levels.Copper intake lowest in late winter, animal levels lowest in spring, problems seen early summer.Testing in June is ideal as it gives time to provide supplements if needed. Dry hinds going to the works are a good group to test as these will tend to be the animals on the farm with lower copper status. Early kill weaners could be tested but are unlikely to reflect the situation in adult stock.There is large variation between animals so a large number of samples is required. Ideally 15 liver samples. If 15 hinds are not available a minimum of 10 samples or blood samples can also be taken later.
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Lice Abortion
Lice is not commonly seen and this may be due to widespread use of ML pour-on drenches. Lice is more likely to cause problems in poor-doing animals.Hair loss and itching/rubbing are signs of lice, itchy bites on the arms of operators after handling stock. They are difficult to see on the animal.Treat with an IGR or SP product specific for lice in cattle (off label), not an ML drench to avoid unnecessary drenching of adult stock and development of drench resistance in gut worms Abortion is rare in deer but has been identified in some herds where losses of up to 15% have occurred. The causes of abortion in deer have not yet been identified. There are several diseases of cattle and sheep that could potentially cause abortion in deer.If abortions are noticed, testing the animals and especially testing the aborted fetus will help determine the cause and the control measures that can be put in place.Many causes of abortion in sheep and cattle are preventable by vaccination or other control measures.
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Johne’s disease testing Copper testing - blood tests
Annual testing for Johne’s disease can provide information about that status of the farm and help to make decisions about Johne’s management on the property.A Johne’s consulting vet can advise on the most appropriate testing programme. For screening this would target adult hinds in poor condition during the winter as these are most likely to show up as test positive. The tests are not very good at detecting infected animals that are carrying the bacteria but not showing signs of disease. Either pooled faecal cultures or blood tests (paralisa) are good options. Note though that a negative result indicates a low chance of infection but does not guarantee freedom from infection. Any animal that shows wasting and diarrhoea during the winter should be tested with a blood test and/or culled and postmortemed to avoid shedding of Johne’s bacteria that can infect other deer. If insufficient hinds were available for liver testing at the works, blood tests can be taken to measure copper.It is best to do this later in the season as blood levels do not drop until liver reserves have been depleted. At least 10 and preferably 15 samples are required due to variation between animals. Ensure samples are taken from animals that have not been supplemented if the aim is to determine whether supplementation is required. 
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Carry over/surplus R2 to works Pre- fawning check
Timing of sending R2 stock to works depends on weights, availability or surplus of feed, risks of running overweight, predicted schedule and contract arrangements with processors. Checking hinds prior to fawning can be useful for determining whether they have aborted and planning calving groups. Hinds that have failed to carry a fawn to term can be sent to the works on the high spring schedule.Visual inspection of the abdomen can detect most pregnant hinds. Weighing can also give an indication of pregnancy as most should be about 15-20kg heavier at full term than their empty weights. Suspect hinds can be scanned to determine pregnancy status.
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Set stock for fawning Johne’s hinds separated
Careful selection of fawning paddocks and fawning mobs is required to ensure good survival rates of newborn fawns. Hinds should be completely familiar with the calving paddock and given time to select a calving site.Fence pacing may indicate that hinds cannot find a suitable calving site in the paddock.Allow 1-2 weeks for settling for hinds that are already familiar with the farm and 1-2 months for new hinds. New hinds take up to 12 months to completely settle in to a new farm.Do perform daily checks of calving mobs but avoid disturbing or unsettling hinds. If hinds were fed silage during winter, they will be used to regular, unthreatening visits.First fawning hinds should be given the best paddocks and always fawned separate from MA hinds Deer are susceptible to infection with Johne’s disease when they are young and relatively resistant to new infections when they are adults.Infection can occur in-utero, from suckling milk of infected hinds or eating feed contaminated by infected feces. Infected adult hinds are an important source of infection for young fawns. If whole herd testing has been done, infected hinds should be calved separately so that the fawns of uninfected hinds are not exposed to the disease at the most vulnerable time of their lives. Fawns from infected hinds are likely to be infected so these can be marked to go the the works and not kept as replacement stock. 
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