Lame­ness hits pro­duc­tion, fer­til­ity, longevity

Irish Examiner - Farming - - GENERAL FARMING - Sean Man­nion, Tea­gasc Ad­viser, Gal­way/Clare Re­gional Unit

iden­ti­fied, and treated ef­fec­tively.

The good sheep farmer will h a ve a k e e n e y e , a n d w i l l ob­serve the flock closely for signs of lame­ness.

Sep­a­rate: sep­a­rate lame sheep from the rest of the flock, so that healthy sheep are not in­fected.

Cull: cull per­sis­tent of­fend­ers. There­fore, records and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion marks are im­por­tant, so to iden­tify th­ese sheep eas­ily, and to avoid re-treat­ment on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions.

Quar­an­tine: all in­com­ing sheep should be quar­an­tined for 28 days, to avoid in­tro­duc­tion of a dif­fer­ent strain of footrot or CODD. Sheep should be ex­am­ined thor­oughly while in quar­an­tine.

Lame sheep should never, ever be added to the flock

Vac­ci­nate: use of vac­ci­na­tion has been shown to re­duce footrot sig­nif­i­cantly, by pro­tect­ing in­di­vid­ual sheep and re­duc­ing the chal­lenge on farm.

Lame­ness Con­trol is one of the main tasks be­ing ad­dressed for low­land flocks in the Sheep Wel­fare Scheme. Farm­ers who have cho­sen this task must:

Carry out a min­i­mum of five lame­ness ex­am­i­na­tions per year, and up­date their scheme ac­tion record book. Farm­ers must record the per­cent­age of lame sheep, iden­tify cause and treat lame sheep ac­cord­ingly.

As a guide, pho­tos of the main causes of lame­ness are in­cluded in the ac­tion record book for your as­sis­tance.

Sum­mary

Es­tab­lish the oc­cur­rence of lame­ness in the flock. Es­tab­lish the cause of lame­ness in the flock. Adopt the con­trol mea­sures above, as ap­pro­pri­ate to re­duce lame­ness in your flock.

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