Farmers urged to keep an eye on stock following recent rain

Photo: File.
Photo: File.

While the recent rain would have been welcomed by central west farmers, local veterinarians are urging producers to be keep an eye out for their livestock who may be suffering from a deadly disease.

After rain events the barometric (atmospheric) pressure drops and animals often lose their appetites, Central West Local Land Services veterinarian Sarah Maher said.

She explained that when things normalise livestock then eat a gutful of grain to make up for when they weren't eating, which is how the acidosis disease occurs.

"Your property doesn't have to be the farm that gets the storm you just have to have the build up.. so you're stock basically stop eating in that time," Ms Maher said.

The local vet went on to reveal that acidosis can result in livestock going off feed, not feeling well for days at a time and even death.

"When we get rain falls like this we really recommend people make sure that there's good access to roughage in their diet which is going to stop livestock developing acidosis and monitor them closely for a few days after the rain to make sure none are getting sick," Ms Maher encouraged.

Making sure all animals can access the roughage was also vital.

Acidosis is more common than people realise, with the veterinarian being called out to cases on a weekly basis.

"Whether it be that the whole mob got hit or they just have a few animals that are bullies and are getting too much access to that grain," Ms Maher said.

There are a lot of things that can attribute to acidosis, the central west vet said.

"The general week-to-week ones that we see are animals being introduced onto grain or animals that have been yarded and held off feed for a while, or changing of grains," Ms Maher explained.

Another issue that these rain events brings is weeds and toxic plants, with the vet urging farmers to be vigilant within the coming months.

"You really need to be vigilant if any weeds are starting to grow in paddocks or along fence lines because they can also be a risk," Ms Maher said.