Facial Eczema and Alpacas

Alpacas are very susceptible to the toxic effects of facial eczema spores and high risk periods occur during the summer and autumn. The spores, produced by the fungus Pithomyces chartarum, are broken down in the digestive tract releasing the sporidesmin toxin. The toxin is absorbed into the circulation and reaches the liver where it is…

How to collect a sample for facial eczema pasture spore counting.

Facial Eczema Pasture Spore Counting Facial eczema is a disease caused by the fungus Pithomyces chartarum; which produces a toxin (sporidesmin) resulting in liver damage and photosensitivity. It grows on dead plant material at the base of the sward and thrives in warm, humid conditions. A good way to determine the risk level of your…

Sheep Reproduction Services

  VSHB are involved in some large artificial breeding programmes such as the release of breed such as Finnish Landrace, the Texel, the Awassi and the East Friesian and work closely with individual New Zealand breeders with AI/ET programmes for advancement of superior genetics.   In the last 12 months (despite Covid-19) we successfully Implanted…

white sheep on green grass field during daytime

Sheep Scanning

Sheep Scanning is used to ascertain whether or not a sheep is pregnant (“wet” vs “dry”, known as WD) and/or how many lambs she is carrying (single vs twin vs triplet, known as TSD or Triplets). We strongly encourage investing in pregnancy scanning as the scanning data allows you to maximise your flock performance with…

Lice in Sheep

A common winter issue, lice are prevalent at this time of year due to their preference for cooler, darker and drier weather conditions. Infestations develop as a slow burn on healthy animals, with numbers gradually increasing on individuals. The entire lifecycle of lice is spent on sheep, so transmission between individual animals can only occur…