Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Vaccination protocol  (Read 838 times)

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Vaccination protocol
« on: January 05, 2024, 07:38:14 pm »
Evening all! This may be the wrong time of year to ask, going on some of what I've been told, but what is the vaccine protocol for sheep? Thinking along these lines today as have been arranging vets for dog and horses to have their boosters. I have been told I should be done before they lamb. However, mine aren't, and won't be going into lamb, they are purely diet support for the horses! Do I need to start them off and then vaccinate yearly regardless? They haven't been done before I got them, previous owner said last year there was a vaccine shortage, so they didn't bother due to difficulties and prices.
The only thing I keep getting told is do it before they lamb, it doesn't seem to compute that isn't my plan, and I'm just interested in their general health and wellbeing! Any advice and experience ls gratefully received  :)

Twotwo

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2024, 07:59:17 pm »
Yes itís a good idea to vaccinate them- (the reason ewes are done before they is to give the lambs some protection until they are old enough to be done themselves) no particularly time of the year .. they need doing twice 4-6 weeks apart the first year then annually.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2024, 12:16:40 am »
I suggest you ask the advice of your vet.  I have kept sheep for 30 years and stopped vaccinating them after a few years because whether we vaccinated or not we still lost one ewe each year at that time (now none).  However, this year we are not breeding at all and given our biosecurity, which includes thick hedging around the whole place, no strangers on our land and no contact with other sheep, as our flock is closed, I see no need to subject them to unnecessary vaccinations.
But as I say, please ask your vet's advice as she/he will know the overall health status of your neighbouring flocks and can assess your own flock's health status too, which nobody can from this site.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2024, 08:32:34 am »
The most common vaccines - Heptavac et al - are for clostridial diseases, whihc includes tetanus, whihc is soil borne. If there's a biosecurity measure to remove it from your soil, I've yet to hear of it but would love to.
Whether you vaccinate ANYTHING - yourself included - comes down to your attitude to risk.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2024, 03:06:36 pm »
The most common vaccines - Heptavac et al - are for clostridial diseases, whihc includes tetanus, whihc is soil borne. If there's a biosecurity measure to remove it from your soil, I've yet to hear of it but would love to.
Whether you vaccinate ANYTHING - yourself included - comes down to your attitude to risk.

The biosecurity measures are to keep out airborne or living vectors.  I suppose we are just lucky with soil-borne stuff.  Hence ask vet as most knowledgeable about the area. It works for us so it is an option to consider.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2024, 04:40:52 pm »
How many sheep do you have? The minimum bottle for vaccines is 50ml. That is 25 sheep. Once open it has to be used within 10 hours. You have to start with a course of 2 injections then an annual booster. So two bottles in the first year. The cost was about £25 per bottle.


They weren't vaccinated before you got them. You might want to consider cost and value.


If you decide to vaccinate you might be able to get a few doses from a neighbour or your vet might be opening a bottle so it would be worth trying to align with someone locally. The lost likely time someone will be doing the double dose is when they vaccinate lambs later on in the year.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2024, 07:03:14 am »
The biosecurity measures are to keep out airborne or living vectors.  I suppose we are just lucky with soil-borne stuff.  Hence ask vet as most knowledgeable about the area. It works for us so it is an option to consider.
Airborne? Wow. As I said, tetanus will be in the soil. Whether you count it as a risk and want to protect against it depends on your attitude to risk. The vaccine isn't expensive and I'd prefer to protect my animals if I can. But at the end of the day, it's a personal thing.

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2024, 12:30:43 pm »
Thanks for your advice. I had a feeling it would be like tetanus in horses. I only have five (and they are slippery to round up too!) Have asked around some local farmer if they have doses to spare, no luck so far. They weren't vaccinated since 2021 it transpires after further enquiry, so I know I'd need to start again, and keep them somewhere enclosed to catch them easier for the second one! I'll try and work out timings so they'd be in for shearing or something for boosters then.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2024, 12:55:07 pm »
Sheep vaccines are still quite hard to get hold of, your vet may be able to put the word out to their clients for you though.

Twotwo

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2024, 01:24:14 pm »
Are your vets a farm practice or have a reasonable amount of farm clients. Our vets have a vet technician that does 2 or 3  vaccination rounds (usually in the spring) for very small groups of sheep - you only pay for part of a bottle and their time. Saves you from having to do it and getting the kit for only a 3-4 sheep. Might be worth asking your vet.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2024, 11:15:21 pm »
The biosecurity measures are to keep out airborne or living vectors.  I suppose we are just lucky with soil-borne stuff.  Hence ask vet as most knowledgeable about the area. It works for us so it is an option to consider.
Airborne? Wow. As I said, tetanus will be in the soil. Whether you count it as a risk and want to protect against it depends on your attitude to risk. The vaccine isn't expensive and I'd prefer to protect my animals if I can. But at the end of the day, it's a personal thing.

Airborne, like coughs and sneezes, lots of diseases are spread by snot.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Vaccination protocol
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2024, 12:01:08 pm »
Tetanus I believe is most usually associated with a piercing injury, particularly by rusty old metal.  Like most clostridials, it can be introduced by inadequate antiseptic practises when injecting or ear tagging, or through any open wound such as are occasionally found with elastration of tail or testicles. 

Historically it has been thought that tetanus is most likely to be found in soils where equines graze. 

As Rosemary says, whether or not to vaccinate in flocks where none of the clostridial diseases has been experienced is a choice.  If or when the first death occurs from a preventable disease, how would you feel?  If you'd beat yourself up and wished you'd vaccinated, well then, perhaps it'd be better to vaccinate anyway!  If you'd be able to accept this loss (or losses) and probably review whether to vaccinate going forwards, then that's a valid choice.

Vaccines are permitted under organic regulations, presumably because the preventative use of vaccines is preferable to avoidable deaths or needing to use antibiotics in the event of a preventable disease.  In non-organic farming, current guidance is to regard vaccination as the default choice in order to reduce the need for antibiotics as well as because in commercial flocks the economic case for vaccination usually makes itself. 

However, most of the guidance regarding vaccination does relate to commercial flocks, where density is usually higher, and stresses more frequent.  In low density, low stress management systems such as many smallholders will practise, the choice to not vaccinate in the absence of a history of preventable disease is surely a valid one.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 
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