Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Anyone else frustrated and concerned with persistant scald / footrot ?  (Read 988 times)

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
So frustrating, every time I go see our flock at home, there are always lambs and ewes limping.
It's so wet that engermycin spray doesn't seem to do much for long and I don't want to inject lambs at this young age

Obviously, the virus is rampant in our fields but I was wondering if anyone else had similar and what, if any, success they have had in treating it and how ?

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Had an outbreak about a fortnight ago, very frustrating, blue spray did sort it but I was very close to getting the footbath out  :yuck:

Bishybarneybee

  • Joined Apr 2022
I know exactly what you mean. It feels like a never ending battle at the moment. Mostly limping lambs but a few mums too.

The constant rain and high water table keep the ground wet or waterlogged and the longer grass contributes to the scald. The fact that the sheep tend to follow the same paths in the fields means it doesn't take long to poach the ground, compounding the problem.

Currently using blue spray from the vet (Alamycin) which does help sort the infection. It works quicker when there's a dry day but may need more than one application when it's very wet.

I bring the worst cases (more than one foot affected) back to the lambing barn and pen up mum and lambs on dry straw for 24 hours, to give the spray a better chance to work.

My biggest problem is catching up the little beggars. They are getting faster as they get bigger, even with a limp!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
For any persistent / intractable scald, especially in the current wet/muddy conditions, we use Stockholm tar.  Clean the foot thoroughly, apply the blue spray and let it dry, then apply the tar and let it dry.  It seems to keep the foot clean and dry long enough for healing to occur.

Otherwise, giving the sheep some hard core to walk over / loaf on, and (unless it's going to get washed away within minutes), spread lime on well-used tracks, in gateways, around water troughs, etc. 

And longer term...  Start to keep track of which sheep and which ewe's lambs rarely hobble, which seem to shake it off within a day or two without treatment, which are needing treatment again and again. Keep ewe lambs from the former, stop breeding from the latter.  It makes an enormous difference over time. 

Rotational grazing helps too, with feet as well as worms.  We graze cattle, then sheep then ponies, then rest to regrow to a length which suits cattle, repeat.  If that's not an option for you, try to have the ewes lamb onto cleanish ground and move onto clean ground once all lambed.  (The ground being cleaned by haymaking the previous year if you don't have any other grazing species.)  And think about giving pasture a few months empty after a group of sheep with foot issues have been using it.
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

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Interestingly I’ve lambs sired by 2 rams- the pedigree Lleyn lambs are much better on their feet than the lambs sired by the Charolais x Texel ram. The ram himself is good on his feet but wondering whether the lambs’ skin is a bit softer/thinner or something. Either way they’re all destined for slaughter and they're growing well.

Bishybarneybee

  • Joined Apr 2022
Sally, thank you very much for your suggestion of putting lime down in the communal areas.

I had half a bag left after using in my lambing pens and have spread it in the main communal and congregating areas. It has certainly cut down on the frequency of foot problems I've been getting.

 

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