12 Sep 2012

Milk fever in fat sheep a worry

6:32 am on 12 September 2012

Lindsay Alderton says better-than-expected grass since early autumn, has resulted in ewes being too fat and not fit enough, so that even a slight hiccup in their feeding could trigger a metabolic illness, such as "milk fever".

"Our older ewes have had a pretty benign sort of winter ... they are too fat," said Mr Alderton, who farms romney sheep near Kelso.

"Any slight check in their feeding and they're going down with milk fever."

The problem was a pitfall for farmers on lowland farms where sheep had less exercise than their counterparts on the hill country.