Friday, 7 December 2007

What A Treat

Whilst crop walking on Thursday I was treated to a very close up view of a Barn Owl adjacent to one of the farm tracks. It seems that the numbers of birds of prey are actually increasing. Is this due to the improved habitat that farmers are putting down? Grass margins planted for nesting birds are providing food and habitat for small mammals which in turn provide a feed source for birds and mammals higher up the food chain. Could there ever be a point in time when we will need to control some species of raptor? Now that would be a debate hotter than badgers and TB!


Anonymous said...

The owl thing is very cool. I think that you are correct about its increased habitat, and maybe lack of predators? I have a question. Some friends of mine have a small herd of sheep and some goats. (They live in the US in Oklahoma. ) These animals have been strong producers, but this year we seem to be having a problem. We have lost 10 lambs. The ewes milk seems to lack colostrum? Even a day or two after giving birth the milk is clear and watery. We have contacted the local vet and asked around to no avail. Thought you may have some insite on this. Is there anything we can do to improve the milk quality? and /or What may have caused it?

Jake Freestone said...

Lack of milk in Ewes can be caused by a few things. I would first check their feed to ensure that they have been adequately fed in the period prior to lambing. A purchased feed, available from most feed suppliers would be good, a protein level about 18% and a high ME (energy). If te milk is watery then there could be an infection (mastitis) which will also come with high temperatures, inflamation, of the udder, and sometimes flecks of blood in the milk. This is bad newes but can be treated if caught early enough with anti-biotics! I'm not a vet so contact yours before you delve deeper but I hope this will give you a few pointers.