The impact of a facial eczema outbreak on ewe performance, and its link to pasture conditions, was assessed within a farmlet experiment that investigated aspects of managing pasture surpluses in hill country. Late disposal of lambs and grazing steep land during periods of high spore numbers increased facial eczema in ewes. These effects can be associated with grazing lower pasture masses. In addition to clinical facial eczema deaths, there was a 2 - 3% increase in barren ewes and a 5-7% reduction in multiple births for every 100 i.u. increase in serum gamma glutamyl transferase levels. Pithomyces chartarum spore numbers were highest in easy contoured and north to north-west facing paddocks and in ryegrass dominant microsites. Numbers were least in south to south-west facing paddocks and in pastures dominated by low quality herbage and/or low fertility demanding grass species. The effects of facial eczema may well be reduced, but not necessarily eliminated, if the variability in potential toxicity is understood and wisely managed.

BM, Butler, CJ Hoogendoorn, and MA Richardson

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 47, , 31-33, 1987
Download Full PDF BibTEX Citation Endnote Citation Search the Proceedings

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.