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Author Topic: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet  (Read 7596 times)

andywalt

  • Joined Aug 2010
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All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« on: July 17, 2012, 05:58:15 pm »
Last year I had sorted all my sheep out and had no foot problems, I culled a couple that had repeated trouble with foot rot.
I checked them last week and had a few hours foot trimming and I was surprised to how soft the feet were and id say a third of them had scold, I sprayed them with terramycin, including the ram who had started limping and gave him a shot of long acting anti biotic.
If this weather carries on and continues to rain, other than foot baths in a race is there anything I am missing that I could do?
Id be very pleased for your replys, many thanks
 
andy
Suffolk x romneys and Texel X with Romney Tup, Shetlands and Southdown Tup

Deere

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Peak District
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 06:34:34 pm »
Hi,

Sounds like your having the same problems as me, even the lambs feet are being affected too which is fairly uncommon.
I've had a full morning of checking, trimming and spraying lambs feet.
Looking to buy a foot bath this week and get them through it but what they really need is some dry ground, even our land up on the top of the Derbyshire hills is wet although a few days of sun and it will improve.

Looking forward to other peoples opinion on this post and their solutions.

Sorry I can't add any more knowledge than you already seem to know,

Tim
Pedigree Ryelands, Charolais cross Mules

Blinkers

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire border
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Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 06:47:45 pm »
Same here  :( .    We do now run the adults through the foot bath and I'm sure that has helped, but the lambs are suffering from very soft soles which seem to 'tear' very easily.    However, summer is apparently on its way  :fc: :innocent:
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again !!
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Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 06:59:39 pm »
Sheep originate from hot stony country, so our grassy, rainy climate is bound to cause them problems.  As well as foot baths and so on, what they would love is a rocky mountain to climb on  :D .  In the absence of that some dry concrete or a mound of rocks.  We have a pile of stone waiting to be turned into a porch and the lambs spend a lot of time leaping around on it, some of the ewes too.  I worry about them breaking their legs as it's not purpose built for them to play on, but they seem to be quite nimble footed.   So a rocky playground might be the answer  :sheep: :sheep: :eyelashes:
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robert waddell

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Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 07:21:46 pm »
formaldehyde    last tear we were bothered with lame sheep trimmid dressed constantly then we were told about formaldehyde   not an instant cure but one of the best     it dries the foot out :farmer:

littlelugs

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2011
  • carmarthenshire
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 08:05:59 pm »
what about footvac?

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 08:49:22 pm »
tried that you end up with abscesses on the neck   you have to remember Scotland has only had a few spells of dry weather compared to how dry it was in England :farmer:

kumquat

  • Joined May 2012
  • Ruthin, North Wales
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 09:09:39 pm »
According to the BBC weather tonight.... the Jet Stream is moving back towards where it should be (North west Scotland) so things "should" improve ?? I'll believe it when i see it  :fc:
Proud member of the Soay Sheep Society :thumbsup:

littlelugs

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2011
  • carmarthenshire
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 09:13:12 pm »
i found that footvac worked for us and we live on the top of a mountain in wales so loads of rain too never had any trouble with abcess' is that due to the breed of sheep or is it a common side effect of the vaccine? worried about using it anymore now  ??? 

kaz

  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
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Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 10:05:37 pm »
formaldehyde    last tear we were bothered with lame sheep trimmid dressed constantly then we were told about formaldehyde   not an instant cure but one of the best     it dries the foot out :farmer:
It does dry the feet out but makes it harder to trim their nails. I get my son to trim them when I have ever had to use that as he is into weight training so has a nice strong grip. :innocent:
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 10:39:14 pm »
Footrot and scald are different bugs, though scald will often precede footrot.  Footvax protects against footrot but not, I believe, scald. 

If you just have a very few sheep, blue spray is very effective against scald and is practical as a solution for small numbers.

For larger flocks, you can trot your lambies through a 2% formalin footbath once a fortnight - it will toughen them up a little but not excessively, and will keep on top of the nasty scaldy bugs.  After the footbath they need to stand on cement for an hour if at all poss - if they go straight back onto wet grass or mud, you may as well not bother with the formalin footbath. 

However, formaldehdye kills most things, can only be used once and is very difficult to dispose of safely.  There are alternatives you could consider.  Golden Hoof is a copper sulphate powder; the solution you make up can be reused and isn't so environmentally damaging as formaldehdye.  But the sheep need to stand in it for a few minutes, so for more than a footbath-full of lambs, it's a longer, harder job to administer.

You could also do things like putting lime in gateways and around troughs - anywhere the sheep trample over each others' footprints.  It'll help stop infection spreading from foot to foot, and will also go some way to reduce infection in feet already infected.  Move your troughs regularly, try not to have different batches of sheep follow each other through pens, etc - all common sense stuff, really.

Other things that will help include keeping the sheep on short grass - when the feet are soggy and wet, especially if they have any open scaldy sores, the constant friction caused by long wet grass pulling between the cleats is excruciating for them.

Their feet will be much happier when the rain stops.  Then we can all (re)start worrying about flystrike...  ::)
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

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 11:44:20 pm »
Scald is the result of a bug that appears in almost every field and appears as lesions between the hooves.  You tend to get it with long grass because it's easier to get a cut or abrasion and let the stuff get in, and it likes it warm and wet.   It's fairly easy to treat  compared with foot rot which is the same bug working with another and is a real bastard to sort out when it's got in deep.


There's some new research done at Warwick which says treat scald and foot rot as one disease and as an infectious disease. So if one sheep gets it try to segregate her, and always assume new stock is infected (a good rule to follow anyway) but treat the whole flock anyway.  Treat early with antibiotics and a topical foot spray and it should be OK within a fortnight.  Cull repeaters - its genetically linked.


Warwick are the people discouraging routine foot trimming, in particular for foot rot.  Lots of vets disagree on this point
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 12:46:14 am »
In my not-very-humble opinion, it's not practical to segregate lambs with scald, there're too many of them and you'd have to keep their mums with them... you'd end up just moving the entire flock.

The thing about not trimming for footrot is, in my again not-very-humble opinion, that if you are not very experienced at it you can do a lot more harm than good trimming, so it's the safest advice.  People who aren't sure of themselves will trim less and do less harm.  People who are very confident and experienced will carry on doing as they've always done - I watch BH trim lame feet and I mark the sheep he's helped - and for the most part, once he's trimmed them, they are fixed.  If they come back repeatedly they're to cull - but we don't get many and our flock is predominantly home-bred.
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

Fronhaul

  • Joined Jun 2011
    • Fronhaul Farm
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 07:40:40 am »
I was so upset about the state of some of the feet in the flock that when the vet came to do something else I spoke to her about the problem.  She said that the problem is almost universal as a consequence of the very wet weather.  Her main advice was to trim sparingly but more frequently if necessary and not to rush to cull repeat offenders at the moment.  I have to say that when we first went back into sheep I had a ewe who was very definitely a repeat offender and on one occasion shortly before she was due to lamb she was so bad that I asked the vet to trim and treat her rather than doing it myself.  She has been totally sound ever since which really bears out what Sally has said about the skill of the foot trimmer being crucial.  Sometimes I think we are too quick to cull.

Pedwardine

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: All This wet Weather is affecting my sheeps feet
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 09:43:45 am »
Our Gotlands are prone to scald. We use a block lick called CalseaZinc which helps prevent the problem occuring. Can't remember why now. Doh! It's available from Mole Valley Farmers. Still get cases with the exceedingly squidgy ground and long grass but thankfully far, far less than in previous years.
Hope that helps.

 

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