Prevent sheep lameness with new design footbath



How to Prevent Sheep Lameness

Two Parts:

Lameness, particularly foot-rot disease, is one of the most important health and welfare issues facing sheep farmers in damp farm areas, such as the UK. Preventing sheep lameness involves eradicating it, as well as preventing future outbreaks. Follow the suggestions outlined here, including the simple 5 point plan.

Steps

Understanding the problem of lameness

  1. Be fully aware why lameness in sheep is a real problem.Lameness, to any degree, is causing sheep pain. It is a welfare issue and as an industry that prides itself on high levels of welfare, such pain is not acceptable. The image of sheep grazing happily in fields is something that needs to be preserved. It isn't something to be tainted by lame sheep, particularly as welfare creeps up on the public and government agendas.
    • Lame sheep cannot eat properly, or at all. This affects its health, immunity and production value.
  2. Understand what it's costing you.Lameness expert Laura Green, of Warwick University, estimates that it could be costing as much as £10-15 for every ewe put to the tup with 8% lameness in the flock, that's up to £15,000 for a 1,000-ewe flock.

The simple 5 point plan

  1. Cull.Focus on recording which sheep are lame. Persistently cull lame sheep humanely. Green suggests this should occur only after the third treatment is unsuccessful.
  2. Quarantine.When buying in stock, always quarantine the sheep before introducing them to your existing flock.[Ed note: for how long, what signs to look for?]
  3. Treat appropriately.Distinguish between foot-rot and CODD (contagious ovine digital dermatitis). If you're not sure, talk to your vet and learn all that you can.
    • Isolate sheep undergoing treatment.
    • Apply appropriate treatment options as recommended by the vet. A long-lasting antibiotic injection may be the first option.
    • Do not trim the sheep's feet during recovery.
    • Do not breed from treated sheep.
  4. Avoid.Use hydrated builder's lime on all handling areas.
    • Handling areas should have hard ground, without stones. This will stop harm occurring to the sheep's feet.
    • Consider using portable handling areas. These have the advantage of being moved around and prevent the congregation of lots of sheep in any one spot, reducing the possibilities for contagiousness.
  5. Vaccinate.Adopt a foot-rot vaccination program

Community Q&A

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  • There are various treatment options to explore with your ovine-specialist vet. For example, there are foot sprays, antibiotic injections, footbaths, etc. Treatment will depend on the cause of the lameness, so at least one vet visit should be considered.





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Date: 11.12.2018, 12:35 / Views: 41395