A new sticker-based wall chart system could help UK sheep farmers take a more proactive approach to flock health planning.
Launched at the Royal Welsh Show, EasiPlanner provides producers with an easy, step-by-step route to more effective flock health management.
All too often, flock health plans are committed to memory or kept in a filing cabinet, but the new highly visual tool is designed to promote forward planning and active health management, explained the product’s designer, Geoff Hooper of VSM.
Sound flock health planning and the effective implementation of proven disease management protocols are crucial for optimum profitability, said independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings, who helped advise on the format.
EasiPlanner gives a highly practical aide memoir as a flock management and recording tool, explained Mr Hooper.
“It also provides a full flock health record for farm assurance inspections and helps ensure animal health products are used in the most timely and advantageous way.”
Every poster comes with comprehensive, ready-to-use peel-off sticker sheets detailing all the key management tasks and disease prevention measures that need to be put in place.
The planner can be simply customised for individual farms using the month stickers to start the calendar on the month when lambs are weaned.
A management sticker sheet is then arranged into key areas, such as weaning, pre-tupping, tupping and pregnancy. Within each of these sections, producers can plan for management strategies, such as when rams go out, when ewes should be marked for culling or changing raddle colours.
Key areas for attention, such as quarantining replacements and reviewing worming policy, are also highlighted in red.
Preventative stickers can also be used to remind farmers when specific vaccination should be used or when animals should be wormed.
The planner also includes an area to record key performance figures such as number of ewes put to the ram, scanning percentage, number of ewes aborted/empty, scanning and number of lambs sold/reared, said Mr Hooper.
“These key figures are fundamental to the profitability of any sheep flock. By having information all in one place, it makes it so much easier to flag up any issues and actively monitor performance and management.” Individual farm strategies can then be discussed with the farm vet to formulate the best possible farm management protocols.
The poster can be ordered on the EasiPlanner website – which also offers technical support for the poster – or by phoning 01296 484 411.
Normally retailing at £25, a £10 discount voucher is available at the MSD Animal Health stand at the Royal Welsh Show or via the EasiPlanner website until the end of October.
The Royal Welsh Show runs from the 17-21 July.