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Lameness in sheep- is it a problem in your flock?

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 61 total)


  • #1006081
    Sarah Trickett
    miss t
    Member
    Topics: 26
    Replies: 34

    We are kick starting campaign called stamp out lameness over the next couple of months. Surprising for some, but its not looking at lameness in dairy cows, but rather sheep.

    Data has shown at least 3 million sheep are lame at any one time in the UK, with possibilities that 6-9 million sheep become lame over the course of a year, with footrot present in more than 97% of flocks.

    We would be interested to hear whether lameness is an issue or your farm and what problems you have come up against. Why not carry on this thread and share your thoughts 


    #1006082
    Peter Wells
    Peter Wells
    Moderator
    Topics: 470
    Replies: 4981

    Just to get your replies started!

    We have a small flock and lameness occurs mainly as a result of chafing in the cleat caused by long grass on some of our rented in grazing land. Foot rot is rare but in all cases we treat sheep individually and not en-masse. Should foot rot arise those are seperated out for a while and given the ‘magic’ blue Alamycin or Tetramycin. Injections are only rarely needed.

    We do however ensure that the flock has constant access to multi mineral licks and, once a year, to the Denis Brinicome foot lick. (I’ve forgotten its name) But as a result, soft hooves are a thing of the past.

    We last ran them through the foot bath eight years ago.

    However, those farmers with commercial flocks cannot afford the time to conduct their businesses the way we conduct ours. Their tasks are, in so many ways, much harder than ours.


  • #1006083

    Gulli
    Member
    Topics: 11
    Replies: 458

     

    Peter Wells

    However, those farmers with commercial flocks cannot afford the time to conduct their businesses the way we conduct ours. Their tasks are, in so many ways, much harder than ours.

    what makes you say this? surely things like lameness in the flock are what commercial farmers should be spending their time on?


    #1006084
    windymiller
    windymiller
    Member
    Topics: 0
    Replies: 35

    kill/breed the problem out, out of about 1500 ewes, i can only think of about 5 or 6 with foot rot here, might get the odd lamb with scald after putting in heavy grass later in summer.


    #1006085
    BrownCow
    BrownCow
    Participant
    Topics: 29
    Replies: 729

    Gulli

     [quote user="Peter Wells"]

    However, those farmers with commercial flocks cannot afford the time to conduct their businesses the way we conduct ours. Their tasks are, in so many ways, much harder than ours.

    what makes you say this? surely things like lameness in the flock are what commercial farmers should be spending their time on?[/quote]

    When we were properly commercial lameness was no more tolerated than it is now.  The only difference is that I can now vaccinate for footrot and after an initial cull of about 5% there is now no footrot in the flock.  They run through the footbath when they come in for worming which prevents scald being a problem and that works for us.  With a bad back tipping up sheep is not an option, plus lame sheep don’t make money they just make work.


    #1006087
    topdog
    topdog
    Member
    Topics: 16
    Replies: 155

    We have a few lame sheep as everyone will, mainly through overgrown feet and occasional scald and footrot. Every year we turn every sheep up a minimum of once (due to start next week) so all overgrown feet are clipped and sprayed with terramycin and really bad ones get injected with some Alamycin LA. Footbath later in summer if/when they require it.


    #1006086

    Gulli
    Member
    Topics: 11
    Replies: 458

    BrownCow

    When we were properly commercial lameness was no more tolerated than it is now.  The only difference is that I can now vaccinate for footrot and after an initial cull of about 5% there is now no footrot in the flock.  They run through the footbath when they come in for worming which prevents scald being a problem and that works for us.  With a bad back tipping up sheep is not an option, plus lame sheep don’t make money they just make work.

     

    this is what i was getting at, spend time making sure your sheep arent lame, and that will give you more time in the long term.


    #1006088
    concreter
    concreter
    Participant
    Topics: 59
    Replies: 668

    We used to have a problem but don’t really now.

    We vaccinate and trim every ewe in the lambing pen, holding back any bad ones (none this year again I am very pleased to say) The lambs often get scald in the winter – we keep many until they are nearly a year old as we put a few through the shop every week and it is a waste to creep feed the lot. One trip through the trusty footbath with zinc whatever in it sorts that out.

    All our fields are on the roadside near several wildlife reserves, many people stop to tell us that they think that a particular sheep has a limp (many of these people have the RSPCA on friends and family I suspect) I spray mark the head of every ewe when it goes out so that when the worthy public asks about a sheep I can ask if it has a mark on its head – yes they reply (often showing me a photo) and I can then truthfully inform them that the sheep has been treated.

    Problem at the moment – mud between the cleats – it will be worse when the bright shiny thing in the sky starts to work properly and the mud goes hard.


    #1006089

    NeilHatch2
    Member
    Topics: 5
    Replies: 13

    We have a lot of a breed (cotswolds) that seem to have feet that are susceptible to scald, because of the breeds at risk status it would be difficult to breed it out. Management is the only option. Footbath when moving them, regular trimming and plenty of blue spray, Alamycin if the Ewe has been lame more than a couple of days. Touch wood no Rot as yet, just Scald, certainly now we’ve had a couple of damp weeks.
    Just off out to do a Ewe now that somebody has said is limping so watch this space. As others on this forum have said, we get a lot of phone calls from Joe public. I reckon they think that you can cure a lame Ewe ‘just like that’. Its certainly something I worry about, people thinking we are being neglectful.


    #1006090
    davysboy
    davysboy
    Participant
    Topics: 15
    Replies: 470

    We get the odd lame ewe as do most farmers but if we see one it is caught and treated asap. I think it’s a depressing sight to see a lame sheep so imagine what it’s been like for me this winter and spring to have just over the hedge, a field of neighbour’s ewe lambs on fodder beet with very few able to put their four feet on the ground. I’m afraid he spends far too much time at the nineteenth hole up the road and not enough at home. His father would turn in his grave.

    Three years ago we started vaccinating the ewe lambs before going on tack and it has made a huge difference in the amount of lameness here.


    #1006140

    NeilHatch2
    Member
    Topics: 5
    Replies: 13

    I’ve had a look at that Ewe I was talking about, and reckon she’s got shelly hoof. Anybody got any tips? She had a a small amount of wool break after lambing and has been doing a large ram lamb well. Shes getting a little concentrate and is on very good and lush pasture. Its one of my better halfs show sheep so I’d better get her right quick!!!


    #1006091
    welshnwilling
    welshnwilling
    Participant
    Topics: 146
    Replies: 5913

    We had a serious lameness problem a few years ago. We vaccinated for about 3 yrs, stopped using formalin and used lincospectin or tylan powder instead and culled the persistent problem cases. We don’t have much trouble now. We do treat any lame sheep individually with terramycin spray and a jab and we run the sheep through the footbath with tylan powder to keep the scald at bay when the weather is wet or the grass is too long, or both.


    #1006092
    BrownCow
    BrownCow
    Participant
    Topics: 29
    Replies: 729

    If you got 500 people out of a football crowd, how many would be lame?  I bet there would be a few cases of athletes foot, the odd sprained ankle, maybe a case of gout.  If you got hold of 500 mothers you would find a few lame ones as well. 

    We have a neighbour who has been trying to be “helpful” for years.  He has rung us up about dead calves (sleeping), depressed horse (head down in the summer shade), lambs bullying each other (doing what lambs do).  We have always been polite and checked then reported back.  This spring he excelled himself.  “I’ve been watching a ewe since last night.  She has been on her back and now the crows are pecking her face”.  This at 7.00 the next morning.  He is thrilled that he has caught us being negligent. 


    #1006093

    baa-lamb
    Member
    Topics: 3
    Replies: 115

    we’ve been battling c.o.d.d. for the last 2 years, i think i can finally say we are almost on top of it now, being on water meadows with most field’s having a ditch or 2 running through, surrounded by willow trees that the sheep like to take cover under in bad weather, or hot sunshine, it spread like wild fire, along with this we are in a h.l.s. so can’t top the fields without a derogation, apart from thistles and nettles, last year we ended up with a bad case of scald also, ——-i am a firm believer in foot trimming sheep, most of the problems ive encountered is down to over grown hoof’s i know of a few who swear you shouldn’t touch the foot unless it is lame as this will cause a problem, but prevention is better than cure as they say. the year we didn’t get around to trimming every sheep on lambing is the year we ended up with the c.o.d.d. starting, although it could have been down to some we bought in as replacements.———- like WW has mentioned tylan powder put into a foot bath is the best thing to use, i haven’t found much success with terramycin spray, the most effective i have found is septi-cleanse (purple spray) along with a jab of draxxin for any that are not clearing up.


    #1006094
    welshnwilling
    welshnwilling
    Participant
    Topics: 146
    Replies: 5913

    baa-lamb

    the year we didn’t get around to trimming every sheep on lambing is the year we ended up with the c.o.d.d. starting, although it could have been down to some we bought in as replacements.

    More likely that you bought the problem in than it being a lack of trimming IMHO.

    In my experience over trimming can cause more problems than it solves. Our vet advised us to only trim lame ewes and even with them only trim what was loose. If you draw blood you’re creating a new source of infection.

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