Livestock Vets

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hotwings, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    I am putting this post because I honestly don't know where else to put it.

    I have read several articles and there was one just recently in our local paper about livestock vets disapearing. In todays age most students opt to be small animal vets. The days of the James Herriot farm vets are beginning to be the thing of the past. The article went on to say most livestock vets are nearing the retirement age and there is no demand to fill their shoes. I have also read that most farm vets don't get paid as well, work in pretty bad conditions(ie muddy fields, damp barns and etc.), and are at risk to get injured more(as most of them work on animals that can weigh about 1000 lbs). The hours are also horrendous. Most say it doesn't pay to be a livestock vet as most farmers don't have the money to spend on elaborate surgeries or meds. It seems the only livestock most were willing to fork over the big bucks were horses.
    I see this as a really bad delemina for the future. You really have to have the love and desire to be a livestock vet. Some government agencies are willing to pay vet exspenses for young people to become farrm vets. How is the livestock vet ratio in your area? And do you have this delemia there. Here in s.w. Mich it is very bad.
  2. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Well, equine specialists are a dime a dozen up here, because they can make tons of money. However, you are right about farm vets. We have one that sees only farm animals, but he is getting up there in age also.
  3. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    It is bad here. Our farm vets can't even go to the vet schools and get them hired before graduation because a lot of them have jobs lined up before school. The vets we use have four large animal vets and when the vet retired in a town north of us they were swamped to the point that calls normally done in the morning were ending up late afternoon. Thankfully it has calmed down some.
  4. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Quote:Chickbea- We were out in Vermont in 1995 visiting family (my husband is originally from there) and stayed in Middlebury. There was a large animal vet right across the road from the motel. Do you know are they still open?
  5. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    Ours see both and they are awesome. They treat my animals like they are their own, but are so cheap that I know several people have told them they need to raise their prices! I had to take 2 of my dogs in at 11pm on a Sunday because of rattlesnake bites, and it only came to $100 including medication. They also kept one of my dogs for a week because her wound had got too bad for us to manage, and charged $10 a day to keep and treat her 3 times a day.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Live stock vets are on short, especially pig and poultry, across the whole US. I was thinking about it, but then if I did that, I would not be able to have my own, especially if I was go into commercial industry. Even though there is a big shortage of livestock vets, it is still hard to make a living on small farms only, because the people willing to pay are far and few between in most areas. Unlike many small vets, hours are 24/7 year round too. Still thinking about it though. For the 4 years of vet school beyond a basic 4 year degree, plus 2-4 years residency, it's a lot of school to get paid less than you can get paid with a 4 year degree in engineering.

    Small animal and horses are more popular simply because there is more money in it. Horses are reaching pet status in most areas so the vets for them are becoming more popular. If you go livestock, most will have to have at least some contracting done with major industry to even be able to support themselves. There is just one main guy who watches all the poultry farms up and down the west coast. High demand, hard to break into.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: