THERE’S NO NEED FOR LAME EXCUSES!June 1, 2015
We Share our Top Tips and Special Offers to Help Prevent Lameness in your Livestock.
Scottish farmers are being encouraged to develop a lameness strategy following the publication of a guide by Quality Meat Scotland. The Diagnosis & Treatment of Lameness Guide identifies lameness as a “significant problem” in Scottish flocks and, when you consider that lameness costs the UK sheep sector a whopping £24 million each year, the need for change has never been so crucial!
The QMS guide focuses on conditions caused by damp bedding such as footrot, scald and shelly foot and cites Contagious Ovine Digital Dermatitis (CODD) as the most worrying cause of lameness for Scottish farmers. CODD is a very contagious condition which can be brought onto upland farms when hoggs have been away- wintered on dairy grass where cows have suffered from digital dermatitis.
The Quality Meat Scotland Diagnosis Treatment of Lameness Guide claims that, “Lameness is impossible to eliminate but it can be controlled.”
Whilst weather is outwith our control, other key contributory factors such as inadequate housing and management leading to reduced lying times, poor hygiene, diet and ineffective treatment of injuries are very much within our control.
Unavoidably, most farmers will have to deal with lame livestock at some point. Research by The Food Animal Initiative has revealed that in the UK farms still have high levels of 5-25% lameness during seasonal peaks of the disease. However, if you take preventative measures in the first place or early treatment at the onset then you won’t suffer punitive penalties all round!
We have everything you need at Hamilton Brothers to help prevent and treat lameness in your livestock and our dedicated team of Animal Health experts have prepared some top tips to keep your flock in sheep shape!
How to Beat Lameness in Five Steps
Be Clever and Cull
Culling sheep with footrot, scald or CODD will ensure that other ewes and lambs build resistance. Sheep that have suffered repeated bouts of disease can become chronically infected and act as a constant source of infection in the flock making other control measures ineffective. At Hamilton Brothers we stock all you need to effectively manage your flock from marker sprays to EID tags to identify repeat offenders.
Be Quick to Quarantine
Incoming animals can pose a big risk to your existing flock. If you have to bring in new animals, buy carefully. Quarantine them for at least four weeks, vaccinate and footbath on arrival. As authorised suppliers of vaccinations, Hamilton Brothers is your one stop animal health shop! For footrot busting footbaths we recommend a 2% solution of Provita’s Hoofsure Endurance or Golden Hoof Plus with the sheep turned out on to clean pasture to reduce the risk of reinfection.
Treat your Fleet
Disease spreads quickly so it is important to treat even mildly lame sheep as soon as possible in order to stop the cycle of infection. Ensure to apply a strong antibiotic spray. Our animal health experts recommend Footmaster aerosol antibacterial spray with violet by Net Tex. The formula has been carefully researched and provides a concentrated and powerful biocidal spray application to reduce wastage.
A topical application of Cheviot Hoof Paste (a copper sulphate based paste) may be an option if just one or two sheep need treatment.
Handle with Haste
Avoid spreading infection during handling and gathering in the field. Footrot and scald bacteria spread well in wet, soiled handling and field areas. Minimise the total number of handling events, and avoid yarding sheep for any length of time. Reduced handling and effective foot baths will ensure your flock have healthy hoofs in no time.
Vow to Vaccinate
Introduce biannual vaccination of all breeding ewes and rams at high risk times in winter and summer using the Footvax vaccine. As authorised suppliers of the vaccine, Hamilton Brothers will always have plentiful supplies in stock.
Avoid Crippling Costs & Order Preventative Products NOW!
Our Tarbolton Based Animal Health team of experts are always on hand to offer advice on the best treatments available through one of our mobile delivery vans or online via Hamilton Brothers Direct!
Take Advantage of Our Great Offer & Cut the Cost of Lameness!
BUY 3 x 20 LITRES of PROVITA HOOFSURE ENDURANCE and get a FREE 100 LITRE FOOTBATH!
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