We understand that many of our lifestyle farmers have chosen to move from the hustle and bustle of city lives to spend time in the countryside. We appreciate the challenges that this sometimes presents as people take on this new and exciting lifestyle. We always encourage you to ask plenty of questions. All our vets come from a rural background and/or reside on lifestyle blocks themselves and are a good source of general advice on how to survive and enjoy your new lifestyle.
All the services we carry out for production animals we provide for lifestyle farmers, although on a smaller scale.
Our vets can provide assistance and advice on a variety of areas that can provide value to your lifestyle venture. Discussing your individual lifestyle needs with our vets and through developing an annual Animal Health Calendar can be invaluable in planning and organising your annual livestock programme. Events such as ram out, shearing, the start of lambing and when to vaccinate or drench.
The common domestic fowl or chicken is the most common bird in the world and makes a great addition to any backyard. Always check with your local council if you are permitted to keep chickens. There are a variety of chicken breeds which exist in New Zealand all of which have an average lifespan of 7years. Regardless of their breed or age, the following recommendations will help you give the best care to your chickens.
We can provide health care advice for chickens
Alpacas are a popular animal for lifestyle block owners and at Murrays Veterinary Clinic we recognise them for their suitability for lifestyle blocks. Like sheep they require regular care.
Compared with other livestock raising pigs is relatively low maintenance, they do require the right housing, diet and healthcare. Providing pigs get the recommended vaccines, they are not as susceptible to diseases as other farm animals. Contrary to popular belief, well looked after pigs do not smell and won’t be messy, but be prepared they can turn over the paddocks through their natural ‘routing’ behaviour.
Goats can be farmed for meat, milk or wool. Those people that already have goats know they are not the hardy creatures many people think they are. They are fastidious eaters, require good shelter, they are very susceptible to worms and Johne’s disease, their feet need trimming regularly. Goats love stimulating environments and will climb on anything that you put in their paddock. They will go to extreme lengths to eat your trees and garden plants, so make sure they are securely enclosed.
It takes a good deal of time and effort to farm goats well and you have to know what you are doing. This is where our vets can assist you, if you have goats or are interested in having goats contact our vets for animal health advice.
The kiwi icon. Sheep are small, docile and generally trouble free but they do require a lot of maintenance.
Internal and external parasite control is important and needs to be maintained. They can be susceptible to diseases such as footrot, fly strike, scabimouth, pink eye, sleepy sickness, toxoplasmosis, campylobacter, but vigilant care can prevent this. Sheep also need to be shorn–either by the farmer or a professional shearer. During lambing they need to be checked regularly to ensure everything is going well.
Sheep are efficient feeders and require relatively little space compared to larger livestock.
We can supply drench and vaccines in small, convenient quantities for lifestyle farmers.
Many lifestyle farmers choose to raise beef cattle, they are relatively low maintenance. They do need regular drenching for parasite control both internally and externally. Cattle can be bought as newborn, 4-day old calves, or weaners. Calves require daily feeding and regular care until they are weaned.
When managing cattle, it is important to have suitable yards, this is for both you and the animal’s health and safety. (Visit here for more information)
Deer farming is not recommended for lifestyle blocks unless you really know what you are getting yourself into. Deer require a large amount of space and special deer fences. Regular attention to parasite and disease control is essential and require to be velveted annually. Stags can be aggressive and remember they have built in weapons on top of their heads!
If you are interested in farming deer have a consultation with one of our vets to discuss your plans and ideas, prior to making the investment.