Sheep lameness – “prevention is better than cure”

Perry and Barbara Semple run a commercial flock of 500 ewes near Limavady. The ewes are Suffolk and Texel cross mule sheep put back to Texel and Belclare rams.

“We start to get lambs away from 11 weeks of age at 20kg deadweight with no meal. To do this they need to be thriving well the whole way through and cannot suffer any setbacks.

To achieve this the Semples use a variety of management techniques including rotational grazing and topping to ensure fresh leafy grass is available all the time, a worming and fluke program based on SCOPS principles and a preventative footbathing program.

Read more

Footrot – prevention is better than cure

Scald if left untreated can develop into full blown footrot, according to Provita’s Tommy Armstrong. This was the main message he delivered at the recent sheep lameness workshop hosted by Carrickfergus pedigree Ile de France breeder Edward Adamson.

“Scald will develop if lambs and ewes are put out into fields where longer grasses predominate,” he added.

“Good grazing managment such as taking out fields for round bales or regular topping of paddocks is therefore essential. This practice should be accompanied by a commitment to regular foot bathing.”

Edward Adamson said that ewes with lambs should be foot bathed every two weeks.

Read more

Lameness problems on the increase in sheep flocks


The recent boost in grass growth rates has led to increased lameness problems within sheep flocks,” according to Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.

“The problem is caused by taller stands of grass irritating the skin between the claws,” he added.

“If left unchecked, this can lead to the development of foot rot. Both ewes and lambs are equally predisposed to these problems at this time of the year. And, of course, prevention is better than cure.”

In order to make this sentiment a reality, Armstrong is encouraging flockowners to foot bath their sheep on a regular basis.

Read more

Foot bathing after every milking reduces lameness problems by 50%

The combined approach of foot bathing after every milking and the inclusion of Provita’s Hoofsure Endurance as the foot bathing solution, has allowed Ballymoney dairy farmer Brian Knipe and his father Alfie to reduce the levels of lameness within his 100 strong cow dairy herd by almost 50%.

“I am delighted with the results obtained by putting an increased emphasis on foot bathing,” Brian confirmed.

“I had known for some time that increasing the frequency of foot bathing would be required if we were ever to get on top of the problem. The challenge was working out the best way to make this happen without putting additional stress on me and the other people working on the farm.”

Read more

Highlights from the International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants 2013

The University of Bristol hosted the 17th International Symposium and 9th International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants in August 2013 where researchers and veterinarians from the world of lameness shared the latest research and knowledge about lameness.

Roger Blowey, the highly respected veterinarian, described how the Digital Dermatitis (DD) associated treponeme bacteria can alter gene transcription to assist their own survival.  As Nick Evans, University of Liverpool, explained “these bacteria can then fly under the immune radar”.

Read more

Provita at Clogher Show

Provita will be at next week’s Clogher Show, taking place on Wednesday July 31st. “We will be located adjacent to the sheep rings,” confirmed Provita’s Tommy Armstrong. “And we look forward to making contact with farmers throughout the day.”

Read more

Farmer successfully controlling lameness

Steven Robinson milks 125 Holstein Friesian cows at Longber Farm, near Lancaster. Until recently, he had been foot bathing the cows using a mix of Copper Sulphate and Formalin. However, ten months ago, after consulting with his local farm merchant, Steven decided to change to Provita Hoofsure Endurance. Since then he has been walking the … Read more

Talks by Roger Blowey on the latest knowledge in reducing lameness in dairy cattle

Provita, Pfizer and Moore Concrete have organised three free talks by Roger Blowey on the latest knowledge in reducing lameness in dairy cattle. Lameness is estimated to cost £9,900 per 100 dairy cows, (Defra 2007) and is one of the biggest problems within the industry. These meetings represent a tremendous opportunity for milk producers to … Read more