Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?  (Read 4011 times)

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Rhea

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Wye Valley
Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« on: October 04, 2016, 01:16:13 pm »
I have 6 ewes that I'm planning on lambing next year, and whilst I've been meaning to get them vaccinated it has kind of slipped down the priority list.....

So, I was intending to give them their two starter doses in the next few weeks, but as I'll need to give them a booster pre-lambing is it worth starting now or should I just vaccinate them early next year? I'm aware I want to limit handling them whilst pregnant, I know I'll be wasting a lot of vaccine if I do three doses but would rather my sheep were protected from newbie errors!


twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 03:44:49 pm »
I would start them now. A lot could happen between now and lambing and you would kick yourself if you lost one to something clostridial. The first dose of the 2 can make them feel a little under the weather so I'd prefer to do it now before going to the ram rather than when they are heavily in lamb. We bought 8 ewes in August and they had their 2nd dose beginning of September, then their booster will be January time (the first ewe is due Feb 18th if she doesn't return).

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 04:03:00 pm »
I agree.  Write vaccination dates on the calendar and stick to them.  I know someone who didn't vaccinate new sheep and lost many lambs to pulpy kidney.  I give a booster four weeks before lambing, but our lambing period is over in three weeks so immunity is fairly high even for the last lambs to be born. 

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 05:26:25 pm »
I'd do it in the run up to lambing.  I've done it before with no problems.  First dose 10-12 weeks before the due date, second dose 4-6 weeks before lambing as usual.  Otherwise it's £25 more expensive for the third bottle now.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 06:05:35 pm »
I'd do it in the run up to lambing.  I've done it before with no problems.  First dose 10-12 weeks before the due date, second dose 4-6 weeks before lambing as usual.  Otherwise it's £25 more expensive for the third bottle now.

£25...  a dead sheep...  I know you probably won't get a dead sheep if you don't vaccinate now, but.... what if you did?  How would you feel then?  It's a choice we all have to make for ourselves, I guess.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

DartmoorLiz

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Devon
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 06:10:13 pm »
Some vets might sell you the doses you need.  You could try contacting your vet and asking for 6 doses now, and a further 6 doses in 4 weeks and the booster doese before they lamb.  It might be cheaper than buying 3 bottles and would protect the ewes over winter.
Never ever give up.

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2016, 10:47:20 pm »

We havent vaccinated for years since our flock went from 500 to 30. Gone back to 100 odd no issues.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 10:49:25 am »
I would not want to handle the ewes once they are tupped.  As you are a newbie the chances are that handling will be stressful for the sheep and therefore you could impair embryo implantation in early pregnancy (ie lose lambs).  I think you are better off vaccinating pre-lambing, and in the mean time just keep a good eye on them over winter, make sure they have clean feed and water troughs, and not standing in mud etc, and have good grass / hay etc.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 07:34:44 pm »
I view vaccination much as I do insurance.  A bit of a pain and always more expensive than you'd like, but when you need it you're very glad you've got it.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2016, 09:51:42 am »
I view vaccination much as I do insurance.  A bit of a pain and always more expensive than you'd like, but when you need it you're very glad you've got it.
Yes but losing potential lambs outweighs the risk in this case IMHO.  These are ewes rather than ewe lambs so should have built up some immunity to the world already.

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2016, 11:02:42 am »
Its kinda interesting psychology how many of us bulk at wasting half or more of a 50 ml bottle?  After all risk losing up to 6 ewes for £25 is only really a big deal if you don't have £25 to invest.  So if they did a 6 ewe bottle for £25 it would cost the same but less waste. I doubt it is worth packing or distributing for less than that. When going through this thought process myself I concluded like Marches farmer it saves a lot of potential worry (every time a ewe looks mildly out of sorts) and possibly saves the flock.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2016, 12:05:44 pm »
If you have to spend £75 then it is £12.50 per sheep and over three instalments so to speak. Which is not that bad. A lot less than a vets visit.




Rhea

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Wye Valley
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2016, 10:05:55 am »
Our vet earlier in the year did put us in touch with another small keeper so we could share a bottle but the timing didn't work out.

I'm interested in the comment about not wanting to stress them once the ram is in with them, we're hoping to lamb start of April so we could just get the second dose done in time (4 weeke gap) if I start this weekend.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2016, 10:35:09 am »
Obviously you never want to stress an animal that is pregnant but the certainly not in the first 6/8 weeks so yes, I would get your second dose done before they go in with the tup. It is obviously also common practice to give the pre lambing jab but just take care doing it. Pen up reasonably tight so you can catch them quickly and get it done.

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Re: Heptavac - start now or wait till spring?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2016, 10:39:42 am »
does heptivac have a shelf life

 

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