NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Flock Management Help Please  (Read 3729 times)

shrekfeet

  • Joined Sep 2008
Flock Management Help Please
« on: April 19, 2009, 10:37:11 pm »
Hello All and welcome to the better weather!

I have recently added 4 ewes with 7 lambs at foot and want to double check what I need to do on a regular basis to stay on top of any health issues. I know about foot trimming and also I understand that I will need to worm and treat against fly strike/ticks. But the question is...what do I do and how often do I do it and what should I use to do it with?
 :sheep: :-\
Voss Electric Fence

hexhammeasure

  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
    • Facebook
Re: Flock Management Help Please
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 11:02:16 pm »
How long is a piece of string.... this is one of those questions where there are so many variables that you can't just say this is how it is!. how you rear your flock depends on what you hope to achieve, pedigree, early fattening, breeding stock, show stock they are all slightly different. Also what land and forage you have and how many fields you have and what equipment you have

and all your plans could still come to naught if the weather turns against you
Ian

shrekfeet

  • Joined Sep 2008
Re: Flock Management Help Please
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2009, 11:03:43 am »
Ian thanks. I think I may not have been clear in my question. It was more about health maintenance than breeding. Basically I'm looking for something like this - you need to check feet monthly, worm every other month (use XYZ drench because...) You need to treat against fly strike in May and August (use ABC spray and be sure to stand on one leg when you apply it). If you can rotate grazing then try to move the sheep every second month as this will keep worms down. Oh, and buy 'Looking After Sheep' by Roger Wooly as this is a great month by month guide...


Hopefully other forum users will have some answers for me.

Thanks

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Flock Management Help Please
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2009, 12:15:34 pm »
I am afraid there really is no absolute bible guide and hexhameasure is right! Lots of tasks are learnt as you go along......Please try and go and spend some time with a knowledgable approachable farmer or smallholder who can teach you 'on the job' To be honest it is best to do this before aquiring sheep as you can then be ahead of the game rather than playing catch up with tasks.

Basically right now you need to ask yourself the following....

When were they wormed.....and what with
Were theywormed before you collected them
Was your grass 'clean' or had it had sheep on it before
Is the ground 'wet'
If it had sheep on it before how long ago and what worming programme did they follow
...........this will all help decide if and when worming is necessary and give an idea of what may be necessary....ie do you need it to include flukicide

Did they have their feet done before you got them....if not do they need doing now.....if so have you got the kit and knowhow

Do you have the right equipment to catch and handle them
Do you have buildings or not

Have you protected them and their lambs from flystrike.....do you know which product to use and why you may wish to use different ones
Have you sorted out shears to dag and keep them clean
Have you sorted out a shearer for May/June time
Do you know what you will do with your wool

Have you thought about sorting hay for the winter....now is the time to start thinking about it
Have you a trailer to get lambs to abattoir or sick sheep to vet
Have you thought about a ram

Its endless..........and a lot more complex than many think and the reason why so many things can go wrong....sheep are easy when you know how and horrendously complex if it goes wrong due to ignorance.

Find out as much as you can.....work for a few weekends with sheep keepers......learn!!!

No book or guide will tell you everything just the basics and as knowledge is valuable don't expect many people to give a lot of their time for nothing in return.......


www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

shrekfeet

  • Joined Sep 2008
Re: Flock Management Help Please
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2009, 12:51:17 pm »
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate your feedback.

Feet were trimmed and ewes were wormed when I collected them. I kno0w how to do this task. It's probably worth stating that I attended agricultural college 20 years ago and therefore have some limited experience with livestock although I have never worked on a sheep farm. I have buildings and know how to handle sheep.

Our land has not had sheep on it for quite a few years. In fact it has been grazed very little in the past couple of years. It is not wet and has a reasonable amount of grass. I have five or six different grazing areas, each of which will support about two weeks grazing/rotation. So area one will be grazed for 2 weeks every ten weeks etc.

I have a slaughter man and shearer lined up. I have plans in place for a ram next year.

I'm really looking for help in the other areas - frequency and type of preventative treatments against worms, flys and anything else of importance. Let's keep it simple for now.

Thanks

garden cottage

  • Joined Sep 2008
  • forest of dean
Re: Flock Management Help Please
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 08:34:26 pm »
bluetongue injections,immunisation to control pasteurellosis and clostridial diseases. if any die do you know your local collection man etc etc etc    enjoy your sheep one of the most challenging livestock groups on the earth, and no matter what happens there will always be something new to learn.

hexhammeasure

  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
    • Facebook
Re: Flock Management Help Please
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2009, 08:46:00 pm »
The only other peice of advice i can really say is - get to know your sheep! - learn to spot anything that says woolyback isn't doing well, simple things like limping mean its time to look at the feet. Perhaps one ewe is passing wetter droppings or is smearing the wool; Why is gladys kicking? might it be fly strike?

I tend to work on observation. The sheep will tell me when its time to do something. Although I also keep an eye on the feilds and the wildlife. lots of swallows flying low means get the crovect out



Ian

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Flock Management Help Please
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2009, 08:54:58 pm »

I'm really looking for help in the other areas - frequency and type of preventative treatments against worms, flys and anything else of importance. Let's keep it simple for now.

Thanks

Thats just the point I'm making.....it depends as Hexameasure says observe the sheep and whats going on!

You cannot say worm in april june and september.....why do you need to.....if you have clean ground to start with and bought little in with you its a waste of money worming for the sake of it!........you cannot do it like that! Perhaps decide to have a worm count done every 3 months..... or get a kit to do it yourself!

Flystrike prevention.....depends on your choice of product......some have different withdrawls, some are combined and do lice and ticks too......you need to do research.....no one has a magic formula ;D

Feet.....well again depends on the sheep.....some are constantly needing attention and some twice a year....

At the end of the day its about stockmanship......you have to learn to read the animals
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Flock Management Help Please
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2009, 11:08:14 pm »
After reading all of this I've decided to stick with dogs - so much simpler.  Worm every three months with an all-rounder(milbemax/panacur), same for ticks and fleas unless working in deer areas, in which case every month.  Check feet, nails and teeth every month (more if working), and eyes, ears and vents every week.  Vaccinate annually with nobivac triple vaccine and lepto 2 alternately. One hour free running and half hour road walking every day, plus training sessions and shoots.  Brush weekly, shampoo and set two days before next show ;) ;D ;D ;D
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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