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The Deer Farmer Monday 22nd December, 2008
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Weaner Checks

07-05-2008 | webmaster

Farm management advisor Adam Whaanga recommends a few checks that farmers can make when purchasing weaners. The following is an excerpt from the June/July issue of TDF, which will be out on May 21.
If you are buying weaners for finishing, it's a good idea to do a bit of research on the property and how they have been managed prior to you receiving them. The management around and post weaning will be the most important factor determining how well the animals shift.

Things to take into account when buying:
? Make sure the deer are in a healthy state.
? Make sure they have been weaned off with plenty of time for them to settle and reduce their stress levels. As a rule of thumb, I would generally like them to be weaned three weeks previously in order to have had time to settle.
? Find out what, if any, animal health treatments they have had: drenches, Yersinia vaccine, copper, and so on.
? Find out what diet or feed they have been on so you don't alter it too suddenly.
? What is the breeding property's management around Johnes? As it is difficult to test young stock, the best indicator of risk is the farmer's attitude. If they have had a testing and management programme then I am happy. In the case where the farmer says they do not have Johne's and haven't tested I am generally suspicious. I have found that Johne's is definitely related to stress, so if it is present in the herd you are buying from, then the stress associated with the move can trigger the onset of the disease.
? Make sure you use a certified deer transporter, as they know how many deer comfortably will fit per pen

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