TIME4HOOFHEALTH: Are You Foot-bathing Your Sheep Effectively?

footbathing your sheep effectively

Stuart Stamper – Product Manager at Carr’s Billington – offers advice on effective foot-bathing to help support hoof health and subsequent production in sheep.

According to statistics from AHDB, lameness in sheep is said to cost U.K. sheep farmers an eye-watering £28 million every year, or £89.90 per ewe*.

Sheep seriously impacted by infectious conditions such as footrot or contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD) are easy to spot because they hobble or ‘kneel’. However, even mild cases of the condition can impact production and spread quickly, so early and accurate detection and management is vital. Avoiding these conditions is especially important as we approach tupping time, as lame sheep at this time are less likely to produce lambs next spring.

Vaccination is a common means of preventing lameness caused by infectious disease, however with a potential Footvax® supply issue looming in 2022, sheep farmers are being advised to look at alternative methods of managing lameness.

Routine foot-trimming to help control lameness and promote better mobility is a common but incorrect management strategy. This can actually spread bacteria and exacerbate lameness prevalence within flocks.

This is also true of foot bathing unless it is carried out correctly. Gathering sheep for foot bathing alone can actually increases the risk of infection.

Foot bathing sheep should be integrated into part of a routine and thought of as a method of disinfection, rather than a stand-alone preventative operation. For example, after sheep have been gathered in a confined area following shearing or scanning.

How to achieve an effective foot-bathing protocol

For foot bathing to be effective, first and foremost it needs to be quick, easy and effective for busy operators to carry out.

If using a 10 percent zinc sulphate solution to manage footrot, sheep need to stand in the product for up to 30 minutes for it to be effective. In reality, simply walking-through a standing product is very ineffective and actually a money waster.

POWER HOOF™ – the latest hoof health range from Carr’s Billington – includes a footbath solution that offers highly effective infection prevention at a lower dosage.

We recommend sheep walk through slowly and calmly for 3-4 steps, then standing on a hard, clean and dry surface for approximately 20-30 minutes prior to being turned out onto pasture. For more effective prevention, hooves should be as dry and as clean as possible before walking through the foot bath.

One footbath of POWER HOOF will accommodate up to 1000 sheep, dependant on cleanliness.

Please be aware that POWER HOOF contains Copper and should therefore not be consumed by sheep and should be disposed of away from where animals will graze.

THE KEY BENEFITS OF USING POWER HOOF

POWER HOOF footbath solution has been formulated by specialist eminent podiatrists to effectively disinfect and harden hooves at a lower dosage; promoting overall health, mobility and productivity. POWER HOOF is composed of ingredients that get into the wound and draw out the infection, rather than healing the outside for the internal infection to fester:

  • Formalin to improve claw quality and reduce the incidence of interdigital lesions.
  • Copper Sulphate to reduce the rate and severity of active digital dermatitis lesions.
  • Zinc to improve claw integrity to help reduce foot rot, heel cracks and interdigital dermatitis.
  • Heavy-duty surfactants which continue to adhere to and work on the hooves after foot bathing.
  • Contains no QUAT’s or antibiotics, helping to reduce the rate at which antibiotic resistance can occur on farm.

This unique composition makes POWER HOOF better for animals, healthier for humans, and safer for the environment.

To find out more and get your POWER HOOF on order today, call Stuart Stamper on 07977 394536, or contact your local country store or advisor.