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Author Topic: feet problems in sheep  (Read 871 times)

epherdwicks

  • Joined Apr 2016
feet problems in sheep
« on: January 10, 2017, 11:25:55 am »
My small flock of Herdwicks who live outside all year have had a lot of sore feet - some shelly hoof and some footrot.  I have managed to sort them out to some extent, but feel the biggest problem is that they are on fairly soft ground.  I was wondering if a cover of road planings or woodchips in the area where they come to feed (and which gets most traffic) would help?  If I spread hydrated lime would that be any use?  And what does a rock salt lick do for them? As I hope they are in lamb I want to keep any stress to a minimum but the worst cases do get Golden Hoofed, and antibiotics if all else fails but I am loathe to get too reliant on the latter. I try and rotate them between fields when the grass supply allows, and certainly give each field at least six weeks resting time. Any other suggestions gratefully received.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 11:51:38 am »
Isolate the footrot cases and treat with antibiotics- injectable and antibiotic spray. With regards to the shelley hoof have seen bad cases where hoof putty has been used and made them much more comfortable, that might be worth a shot. There's conflicting advice whether to trim shelley hoof back so there isn't any air pocket- some say to do it, some say don't... but if there's footrot in the flock too then the 2 can go hand in hand. I would give hoof putty a go though before you trim, just make sure the hoof is clean and dry. I think any kind of road planings or woodchip and shelley hoof would be a bad idea personally. Mole Valley do a mineral bucket with biotin in (foot and fertility) which may help strengthen hooves.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 11:56:47 am by twizzel »

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 12:05:38 pm »
Do everything you listed :).
Antibiotics for any footrot (inject and spray, and hold on dry ground until its dry (30mins)), and separate until they are sound. Regular goldenhoofing for all (if you do it regularly it will become less stressful for them), and rotate the pastures. Cull any persistent offenders - this is the most important bit because you could have just one or two sheep that are harbouring the problem and spreading it to the others.  Put lime down around feeders and water troughs to help dry out their feet.  Don't trim anything unless you absolutely have to.  Do you have any rocky areas where they can stand on a really wet day?
Rock salt will give them some minerals which will be of benefit, MVF foot and fertility bucket also, but equally you could drench regularly with a mineral drench.  Zinc (chelated) is the mineral most important for foot health.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 12:36:12 pm »
FOOTVAX  :sheep:

epherdwicks

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 02:37:01 pm »
Thanks for those replies and suggestions. I will try anything and everything.  Unfortunately no rocky outcrops for the girls to climb on to harden up their feet in Suffolk, hence the thought about road planings.   May need to lay a concrete pad or two....

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 02:54:35 pm »
Some of our sheep had great hooves when they came to us, which then weakened and cracked after a few months with us. We put Zinc Rich Rockies licks in all of our fields, and I'm convinced that has made a big difference.

The key thing is to protect the blocks from the rain, or they just disappear. We made holders (details here) for them, and they now last for ages.

Also, as Shep53 says, we footvaxed our flock a year ago. It's a nasty vaccine, and some folks say you should really cull affected animals instead, so I really toiled over the decision. However, we haven't seen ANY scald or footrot since we vaccinated, so in my mind it was definitely worthwhile.

HTH!
Experience is what you get just after you needed it.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 05:14:33 pm »
Another vote for Footvax (yes, yes, I know it's one of my hobby horses....).   haven't seen footrot or scald since we vaccinated once in 2007.  I would give it before the fly season, as our tegs rubbed the injection site raw as the adjuvant is clearly very irritating.  It's recommended NOT to give it within four weeks each side of lambing.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 05:28:11 pm »
Another vote for Footvax (yes, yes, I know it's one of my hobby horses....).   haven't seen footrot or scald since we vaccinated once in 2007.  I would give it before the fly season, as our tegs rubbed the injection site raw as the adjuvant is clearly very irritating.  It's recommended NOT to give it within four weeks each side of lambing.

Did you vaccinate just once or annually?
Linda

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Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 12:07:02 pm »
I vaccinated once, put them on a field that hadn't been grazed for three weeks, collected them up, checked their feet and put them on another field that hadn't been grazed for three weeks and haven't seen footrot, or scald, since.  Still get a bit of shelly hoof (we're on heavy clay) but it's great to know that when you turn up a foot you're not going to see footrot.  The absence of scald was a bonus we hadn't expected.  We buy in new tups every two years but they're checked and their feet sprayed as they go straight into six weeks' quarantine, so we can be reasonably sure they're not bringing it back in.

epherdwicks

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 06:27:23 pm »
Looks like Footvax after lambing then...   I have heard it's not fun to inject but probably best option in the long term.  Will also check out the zinc rich rockies. Thanks again for everyone's suggestions.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 07:42:03 pm »
Footvax is no more difficult than heptavac it s just that is is mineral oil based ,so thick, helps if you warm it and massage it  , but can still leave a lump which will disappear over time .  1ml injection  repeated at 4-6 wks and then boost at 6mth's  followed by an annual booster , min pack size is 20 ml

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2017, 07:47:24 pm »
We vaccinated only once, in 2007, and haven't seen it since.  Running a virtually closed flock probably made this possible.

moprabbit

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • North Notts
Re: feet problems in sheep
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2017, 11:52:37 pm »
What antibiotic is recommended for foot rot? I have Alamycin L.A. in stock. Is it just 1 injection or a course and if so how many injections would they need and how far apart? Thank you
4 pet sheep

 
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