Know How / Sheep / Health and welfare

Poor flock health undermines productivity and causes welfare issues. Read the latest thinking on treatments for foot-rot, worms and fly strike along with veterinary advice on diseases such as Schmallenberg and liver fluke, as well as lambing issues including twin lamb disease, abortion, watery mouth and hypothermia.

Case studies

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How livestock producers cope with predators

Introducing large carnivores into the British countryside is a notion that has left many livestock farmers concerned about increased sheep mortality and unwanted extra costs. Through reintroducing species such as…

MEDICINES

7 ways a sheep farmer has cut antibiotics use

The use of wood shavings in lambing pens has put an end to blanket use of antibiotics against watery mouth at lambing and is part of an overall strategy which…

SHEEP

How Glos farm reduced lamb losses to half the UK average

Gloucestershire sheep farmers Martin and Pauhla Whitaker have been placing a big emphasis on flock health, in the belief that if animals are healthy it will help them be more…

FOOT HEALTH

Sheep farmer abolishes foot-rot in a year through vaccination

Lameness in sheep is not only detrimental to the animal’s health, but has repercussions on performance and profits, estimated to cost £89.80 a case. Government targets from the Farm Animal…

SHEEP

FW Awards: Sheep Farmer of the Year finalists 2018

Each of the three finalists in the 2018 Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year category are well-positioned to meet the challenges of Brexit. They have developed profitable and sustainable…

LIVESTOCK

How a farmer tackled watery mouth without antibiotics

Shropshire sheep and beef farmer James Evans was concerned about the effect the routine use of antibiotics, used to tackle disease at lambing, was having on the health of his…

Practical advice

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LIVESTOCK DISEASES

6 tips if vaccinating your flock for orf

Vaccinating sheep for orf can be an important step in addressing the costly condition in flocks, but care needs to be taken when using the vaccine, experts warn. The orf…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

Advice on selecting flock replacements

Ewe productivity is linked directly to flock profitability so selecting replacements is crucial to future performance. Foot and udder health, the condition of teeth and mouth and overall body condition…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How to deal with mineral deficiency when rain follows drought

Drought-like conditions in the summer cause numerous issues for livestock farmers, not least the concern of potential forage shortages later in the year. Producers also need to be aware of…

PARASITIC DISEASES

How to test for wormer resistance in sheep

Testing for wormer resistance is vital to enable farmers to put effective worm control plans in place. Wormer resistance costs the UK sheep industry £84m each year. Almost all farms (94%)…

PARASITIC DISEASES

Fly strike warning as warm, wet weather continues

Fly strike cases in sheep are increasing rapidly after warmer- and wetter-than-average weather in many parts of the UK created ideal conditions for blowfly and other parasites to thrive. An…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

How to identify and treat the five sheep 'iceberg diseases'

‘Iceberg diseases’ is the term used to describe diseases that are reported in fewer numbers than actually exist. Sheep industry experts are particularly concerned about the risk of five such…

Insights

PARASITIC DISEASES

Video: How farmers are uniting to eradicate sheep scab

Sheep scab is a huge problem and if left untreated can affect a sheep's health and severely impact a sheep business. One mite is enough to spread the disease and…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Farm trial aims to solve risk of fluke-infected snails

A technique which identifies the presence of mud snails infected with fluke is being used to help Welsh farms determine fields posing the greatest risk to animals. The presence of…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How farmer-vet 'clubs' are improving flock health

The contact between sheep farmer and vet is often a once yearly affair focused on meeting flock health planning requirements, but a relatively new collaborative concept is forging stronger relationships…

SHEEP

Wormer trial shows faecal egg counting can cut drench costs

A research project has found using new technology and faecal egg counting can help halve drench use and save money and time. The Techion Group/Sainsbury’s project, looking at remote location…

LAMBING

How sheep colostrum trials are helping to reduce antibiotics

Trials are comparing two lamb blood tests in a bid to reduce antibiotics use on farms through optimising ewe nutrition and health.  A series of farm studies has compared refractometer tests…

MEDICINES

How the sheep industry plans to reduce antibiotics use

Sheep industry bodies are collecting data on the sector’s antibiotics usage to help develop a strategy that promotes best practice and cuts the risk of developing drug resistance. Worldwide concern about…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Exclusive: Sheep data supports Johne's diagnosis concerns

Post-mortem data on the incidence of Johne’s in fallen sheep supports concerns that the disease is “majorly under-diagnosed” across the UK, according to UK vets. Johne’s disease was picked up…

How to best check your sheep flock for fluke

Acute fluke is already being detected in condemned livers at abattoirs this autumn, with experts predicting the challenge in some areas to be significant. Sheep vet Matt Colston from Elanco…

LIVESTOCK

Trial shows sheep farmers can slow or reverse worm resistance

Using multi-active wormers in lambs to kill as many resistant worms as possible has been shown to slow or reverse wormer resistance, according to recent trial results.  Researcher Dave Leathwick,…

Eblex assurance scheme could clear up halal confusion

The constant drive to expand the potential market for British beef and lamb could soon result in a new halal assurance scheme being launched by Eblex. It could be a…

Research sheds light on tackling CODD

New research findings on contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD) in sheep highlight the importance of isolating bought-in stock and suggest a link to digital dermatitis in cattle. A survey of…

Driving down lameness levels – an expert opinion

There's no excuse for untreated lame sheep, said Prof Laura Green, FAWC member and professor of epidemiology at Warwick University. In March 2011 the Farm Animal Welfare Council, now the…