Regular Footbathing helps to prevent Lameness in Sheep

Denver McCall, from Madden in Co Armagh, runs a 400 strong flock of Spring lambing Suffolk cross Mule ewes.

“We use a selection of Texel tips to produce a high quality finished lamb,” Denver confirmed to Farming Life.

Denver believes that total attention to detail is the key to successful sheep production. To this end, he worms the sheep every four to six weeks throughout the grazing season.

While carrying out this job, he also takes the opportunity of running the flock through the footbath.

“Feet problems will arise with sheep, no matter what the ground conditions are like. Longish grass will irritate the soft tissue between the claws of the hoof, leading to foot scald. This then predisposes the animals to foot rot infections,” Denver explained.

“Prevention is the only way to keep on top of feet problems. We have been using Provita Hoofsure Endurance as the active ingredient in the footbaths for some time and it works tremendously well, but it has to be used on a regular basis. Simply using it now and then is no good. It really is a case of agreeing a programme of action and then sticking to it.”

Increasing numbers of flockowners across Northern Ireland now use the Provita Hoofsure Endurance footbath solution to maintain hoof condition in both ewes and lambs. Scald and foot rot can be a big problem. However, the problem can be brought under control by an intensive footbathing blitz, antibiotic injection (consult your veterinarian) and if required culling persistent cases,.

In problem cases, producers can footbath their sheep in the higher 2% dilution rate (1:50) – that’s 2 litres of Hoofsure Endurance added to 100 litres of water, or 4 pints to 20 gallons. The normal rate is 1% i.e. 1 litre to 100 litres, or 2 pints to 20 gallons. Increasing numbers of flockowners also use a sponge mat in the bottom of the footbath, so that there is less splashing and waste. As a result, it is possible to get more sheep through the same footbath mix. If the animals’ feet are dirty they can be run through a prewash bath or through the footbath a second time. After this the ewes and lambs should be returned to grass that has not been grazed for two weeks. This routine is repeated as necessary.

The main approach that Denver would take to foot problems is ‘do footbathing it routinely’.  Denver McCall would summarise the benefits of Hoofsure Endurance as follows: ‘It seems to do the job for us and we can control lameness provided we keep on top of it’

Special offers are available on Hoofsure Endurance. One 5 foot sheep footbath can be claimed per 20ltr Hoofsure Endurance drum per farm, they are ideal for small groups of sheep, e.g. ewe lambs that are kept away from the main handling facilities or as a second pre wash footbath. Also one foot rot shears can be claimed per 10ltr Hoofsure Endurance drum per farm.

To avail of these offers post a copy invoice and a contact number to, Provita, 21 Bankmore Road, Omagh, BT790EU, or ask your Provita stockist to fax a copy invoice to Provita on 02882241734.

For more information or details of your local stockist of Hoofsure Endurance footbath solution, Combat footspray or Konquest hoof gel, call Provita on 02882252352 or their local representative Tommy Armstrong on 07720101444.