Stopping the Lambs from Dying

I wanted to share with you my experience with one of our farming clients, Scott Macansh who owns Deepwater Station in Deepwater, NSW.

It was in March 2011 that I received a call from Scott. After introductions, I asked him what I could do to help him. His answer, “I need you to stop my lambs from dying”. OKAY! This out of the blue. Could we do it?? What was wrong with his lambs?? Scott is a young, proactive farmer who was working with every expert available and he called us, out of sheer desperation to save his livelihood. At this point Scott had lost 500 lambs.

So, I got him to email me a photo of his sheep. Not the whole flock, just a good sample that were unwell. It took me 10 mins to determine the bacteria that was killing these lambs. It was Heliobacter. This bacteria breaks down the lining of the stomach. I quickly got back to Scott who was quite amazed that I could pick this up so fast.

The following morning Scott made the 6 hour round trip to pick up the energy version of the heliobacter bacteria. His words as he walked out our door, and I will never forget them were, “Even if I don’t believe in these remedies, will they still work”. We smiled at him and said ‘yes’.

He returned home and drenched the remedy into half of his lambs. He lost one or two that were very weak on the way through the yards but the rest immediately started to bounce. The balance were done the following day and the deaths stopped. Just like that.

The next step was to heal the internal damage caused by the bacteria and most importantly find out where the bacteria came from and see if we could stop it. A healing plan was created for Scott to run through the trough water for these lambs and a farm visit attended by Eric 5 days later.

What Eric found when he got there was a settling pond that fed from the town waste water. During the recent floods in January the settling pond had flooded over the paddocks around it and this is where the stock were picking up the bacteria. We found many other bacterias and chemicals in the settling pond when we tested it. Not tested as in standard water testing but muscle tested, like we did with the sheep.

All Scotts’ sheep healed beautifully. We worked on the ewes, the cattle and even the rams to bring them up to a better level of health. This has been ongoing as we work through the layers of current and inherited (cellular stored) issues but with every step his stock are looking better.

In September when the lambs above were shorn, their wool was white and bright and had grown perfectly since the lambs were healed. His ewes which we also treated, had bright, white wool with not imperfections – no dermatitis or any of the older existing issues.

In farming sometimes you get as many losses in a wet season as you do in a dry season. Scotts’ new lambs (September/October 2011), were nice and small, no lambing problems. Considering the good feed season Scott was expecting many birthing problems due to oversized lambs. In the area, there was a lot of loss of cattle with bloat and bloat related issues, but Scott had none of these problems. Scott has a Farmers Pack and has been trained in muscle testing to assist with remedy choices to improve the day to day running of his farm.

In July, we proposed to run healing plans on Scotts’ paddocks as a trial. He did the soil tests and we provided the remedies. The changes in the soil structure were quite remarkable after just two treatments (same remedies), so we are continuing on with our trials in this area and will update this post when we know more.
Up Date On Scott’s

Well it is now early August 2012 and we have been working with Scott’s farm for a little over a year now and the changes are very noticeable. Just a reminder of where we started in May 2011.

At this point Scott’s farm and production system was in a lot of trouble with his older ewes not very well at all. Fertility had been down for quite a few years despite all his efforts. At this point he had lost 500 of his 2300 lambs to a unknown cause. He had asked a lot of people for advice. Despite drenching and feeding a lot of extra feed and nutrients the lambs were still dying. To make things worst he had had one of the best season for a long time as far as weather and rainfall. A little info about Scott’s systems. His farm is at Deepwater in NSW and over the last 10 years has been running a cell / rotational mixed grazing practice. Over the years as with most of these systems water had been run in troughs to several paddocks.

He had started with a little pasture cropping and had tried liquid teas and composting at different points.

Breeding both Hereford cattle and Lerelmo blood Fine Wool sheep for long periods of time and using very good genetics you would have thought Scott a had a very well thought out and established system that should have been working as it would be a model farm using up to date sustainable farming practices.

Despite all this and the paddocks carrying a good body of feed the soil has been slow to respond and improve.

So when we came on board to help with the 2010 lambs health and have a review of Scott’s systems, at first look everything appeared to be okay.

Since then we have run several healing plans on both Sheep and Cattle focusing on animal health at the next level of awareness.

In our work we look at health in a holistic way which is quite different to the normal. It was while conducting this process that we came across a lot of the underline problems that had been being carried by his stock at a subclinical level and manifesting to the physical level as ill health.

This allowed us to identify the bacteria’s that were causing the health problems.

Once making the changes needed we saved the rest of his 2010 lambs and by November 2011 a fair percentage of these young sheep had caught up with the wether portion being sold for very good money direct for slaughter.

By scanning in August 2011, 5 months later we had picked up the sheep’s quite a bit but not enough to allow them to go into lamb. So at 80% in lamb and a very small amount of twinners we had a way to go. Despite this, shearing went well and once lambing started it was noted that his lambs had a real want to live and a higher percentage than usual survived to marking and they did well right through till weaning.

We have continued to make changes slowly working deeper and deeper in to the health of his sheep to a point now that the 2010 drop ewes have not had a drench since January and his older ewes since March which in the New England wormy country is quite a effort.

The ewes for this year, have had a huge gain with the fertility rate in the older ewes lifting to 97%, with 12% twinners. The young ewes still have a way to go, coupled with the fact that Scott has not had the numbers to do any sort of classing on these sheep, as numbers are needed after such a major loss the year before.

I know that some of this information is only subjective but the comments on the day of scanning were very positive. Some of these were that the ewes have grown more wool, are in better condition, eating less, showing more worm resilience and with a 17% increase in fertility in the older ewes it can only be positive.

We are currently running soil trials on Scott’s paddock with initial results very promising.

Working with our understandings and testing procedures we are continuing to fine tune and improve Scott’s productions systems. We are shedding light on a lot of the limiting factors and offering some answers.

I have many years of experience managing properties. I have always been looking at the best systems for gaining and maintaining stock health in a sustainable process. We are still growing and learning but so far we are making good progress.

To book in for your stocks first Healing Plan click here. To book in for your farm’s/property’s first Healing Plan click here. For more information about Healing Plans click here.

To see our recommended remedies for your farm, stock and property click here.