Castle Cary: 01963 350307 or Yeovil: 01935 474690

Small holders advice

With many people embracing ‘The Good Life’ and owning farm yard animals for the first time it can be a daunting thought of where to get good sound advice from. At Delaware we aim to provide a friendly and helpful service to help you take the best care of your back yard animals with our general advice:

General health advice for sheep

All sheep get worms and lots of them. The worms which we worry most about in sheep are roundworms. Young sheep which have low levels of worms will build up a good lifelong immune response which will kill the worms. However with moderate levels of worms the immune response is overcome, leading to reduced growth rates in lambs due to gut damage caused by the worms. With heavy worm burdens lambs will show signs of clinical disease, scouring and weight loss, and can even die.

General health advice for pigs

There are many breeds of pig that people keep in their back yards or small holdings. They are generally kept either solely as pets or for meat. Whichever breed of pig you have, they are all susceptible to the same diseases and methods of management. Common breeds kept in the back yard or small holding include the Kune Kune, Gloucester Old Spot and British Saddle Back whilst breeds that are used on a more commercial basis include Large White, Landrace and Hampshire. If you are planning to breed from your animals it is always worth considering vaccination for Swine Erysipelas and Porcine Parvovirus to help prevent foetal losses and give you the biggest healthiest litter size. Pigs are susceptible to lice but the only way they get on the farm is on a pig. They can be easily treated and eradicated from the farm.

Pigs are also susceptible to lice but the only way they get on the farm is on a pig. However, they can be easily treated and eradicated from the farm. The most common worm found in the pig is the roundworm. It causes damage to the liver as the immature worms migrate as well as decreased growth rates in growing piglets. We have an in-house laboratory and best way to find out if your pigs need worming is to bring in a faecal sample for worm egg count testing.


Despite the concentration of Dairy cattle in Somerset we maintain a strong interest in the other farm species in our area for both commercial farmers and smallholders.


If you keep poultry as a hobby or on a smallholder basis the Small Animal Team at Delaware Veterinary Group are happy to supply treatment and health advice for your birds. If you own a large commercial Hock we suggest the services of a specialised poultry vet.

Individual sick birds are best brought into the surgery for examination and treatment, however, if you feel you have an outbreak of disease spreading through your flock it may be sensible to phone to discuss the problem first.

All chickens should be regularly wormed and treated for skin parasites and mites. To discuss your requirements for wormers, lice and mite treatment please phone our nursing team. We stock a range of wormers, treatments for lice and mites together with products to clean and eliminate parasites from housing.

Talk to us about your small holding...

Call Castle Cary: 01963 350307 to discuss your small holding with a Delware farm vet, or click to enquire below