Dr. Hannah Varnell is bringing a unique form of veterinary medicine to the lake! Through her mobile “office” (truck) she is serving production herds and backyard hobby farms alike with an emphasis on herd/flock health and preventative medicine.
Hannah received her veterinary degree from NC State with her internship and residency being completed at VA Tech. The latter of which brought her to southwest Virginia - where she would eventually base her new business: Wellfarm Vets!
Passionate about biosecurity and educating people about the tools you need to help maintain a robust, healthy animal population, Hannah offers a “Herd Health Plan” where she'll start out by learning the specific needs and goals of each farm (or backyard). Tailoring a plan that will help set both you and your animals up for success, this preventative approach can be worth its weight in gold. If you have other domestics such as cats and dogs, she can provide preventative services such as vaccines to them as well.
Maybe you're considering starting a backyard flock for the first time? Dr. Varnell will consult with you before your birds even arrive so that you feel armed and confident as you set up a safe environment for your feathered additions and embark on this new adventure. I know I wish a service like that would have been available when we first started raising our hens!
In addition to her preventative plan, she also offers emergency and telehealth services to the community. Wound care, infections, sudden illness…give her a call. She does require a visit to your farm/home at least once per year to maintain a client relationship for telehealth consults. There are certainly limitations to a mobile service - such as not having the sterile premises required for surgery. In these instances, you'll be referred to a full-service hospital that can better attend to the acute situation.
When asked about any advice she might give to current or future chicken keepers, Hannah really emphasized the importance of:
+ Sourcing your chickens from reputable places.
+Doing your research and learning about the benefits of chick or in ovo vaccinations.
+ Giving some good thought toward whether to start your flock from incubation, chicks, pullets/cockerels, or adults. Your personal goals and the time you have to invest in the venture will weigh heavily into each decision - which is largely individual. Like many things in life, there are pros and cons to each one.
You can find Wellfarm Vets online and learn more about all that Dr. Varnell offers by following the link below: