What a difference a rain makes!

While the explosion of feed is a welcome sight after months of dusty paddocks, producers are finding it comes with a hidden sting.

Sadly, cases of foot scald and abscess are rearing their heads, with cases of pregnancy toxemia adding to the frustration. Foot scald and abscess generally affects rams and twin bearing ewes.

The problem usually occurs in late winter/spring, however it can happen whenever sheep are walking in long pasture/cereal crops and their feet don't get a chance to dry out.

To combat the problem, Fabstock developed 'Happy Feet' in 2015. The Lactation Pasture Mix is fortified with added zinc and biotin to strengthen the hoof from the inside and alleviate the need for time consuming reactive treatments. In the wet year of 2016, the product really proved its value. Despite the sodden conditions, producers constantly reported improved lamb survival rates as well as an absence of scald and other hoof issues.

Pregnancy toxemia also primarily affects twin bearing ewes and occurs where there is an energy imbalance i.e. the requirements of the female are greater than the energy consumed in the diet.

Lactation Pasture Mix or Lactation Pasture Mix 'Happy Feet' can help. Bypass energy sources combined with simple sugars provide a boost in energy levels, and a balanced supply of calcium and magnesium help maintain efficient rumen function and alleviate the risk of pregnancy toxemia occurring.

With the seasonal outlook vastly different to the past few years, producers will be looking to maximise the reproductive performance of their flocks. We've made it this far, don't now fall at the last hurdle.