All the tips on offer at lifestyle farming seminar

It can be overwhelming looking after farm animals if you never have before, says Anexa FVC veterinarian Hanneke Officer.

sprite the lamb
The Anexa seminar will offer tips on how to look after cuties like this one.

“Especially since we’re so dependent on the weather in New Zealand. I’ve been there when people say ’10 acres? That must be so nice! Lots of space, beautiful views and peaceful walks on the weekend.’

In fact, she says 10 acres can keep you as busy as 100 acres.

“The main difference is that on a small block, you don’t have all the tools and equipment to deal with the jobs that need doing such as a tractor.”

Anexa is holding an inaugural lifestyle block seminar in Taupiri later this month.

“Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy our lifestyle block. I love cows and having 10 acres of land attached to our house gave us the freedom to have a few of these and get to know and care for them.

“As a farm animal vet, I’m familiar with the jobs that need to be done to look after animals. Also, I know how much animals need to be fed to be able to do the things they need to do. What I wasn’t prepared for however were the practical implications. I was feeding out every morning and every evening because grass growth was poor. I gave them special energy boost pellets every day in winter,” she said.

“The calves had to be vaccinated for Clostridial diseases and supplemented with Copper, Selenium and Vitamin B12. On top of that, in order to be able to properly graze them and to be able to handle them if necessary, we had to build decent fences and yards.

“As part of my job, I meet many people in the same situation, but they do not always have the same level of knowledge. I get asked a lot of questions often regarding the care of animals kept on lifestyle blocks.”

• Do you know how much grass a sheep needs on a daily basis?
• Do you know how much water a cow drinks each day?
• Are you aware grazers need worm treatment (especially young animals)?
• Would you recognise a sick animal?
• Are you familiar with the common diseases farm animals should be vaccinated for?
• If you have pregnant animals, do you know what to do when things go wrong?

“These and more questions will be answered at the seminar. We will discuss basic handling and treatment skills as well as the most common problems and their solutions.”

There will be several vets on hand who will also answer questions.

“We will strive to make your job just a little bit easier; knowledge is the gateway to increased efficiency.”

  • The seminar will be held on Wednesday 17 August at the Taupiri Rugby Clubrooms from 6.30pm, $10. For more details click here.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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