Hoof issues may reduce scanning and lambing results

The continuation of out of season rainfall in southern parts of the country has resulted in increased reports of hoof infections and foot scald late into summer. This may be a concern for both autumn and spring lambing flocks, as hoof infections can significantly inhibit the mobility of affected animals.

In the case of autumn lambing flocks close to lambing, the lack of mobility has a direct impact on the ewe’s ability to service the high demands of a growing foetus, especially in the last two months of pregnancy when 70% of lamb growth occurs. Ewes with infected hooves generally graze for less time, have less capability to selectively feed and have a stressed immune system, seeing them become weak and lose condition rapidly. In many cases this leads to pregnancy toxaemia and hypocalcaemia which can be fatal for both the ewe and lamb.

For spring lambing flocks hoof issues at or before joining are potentially of greater concern as they occur earlier in the lambing cycle and can directly affect both the ram’s inclination to serve and the ewe’s disposition to be served. This may significantly reduce scanning results.

Several types of infection can occur in hooves of sheep and goats. Fusobacterium Necrophorum and Actinomycetes Pyrogenes are aggressive bacteria present in both sheep faeces and in soil and are the chief antagonists in two common hoof infections, foot scald and hoof abscess (benign foot rot). The infections from Fusobacterium Necrophorum are highly contagious, especially in damp conditions when the disease is at its most aggressive and when ewes are most vulnerable. The abscesses and swellings occur approximately three days after infection, therefore it is likely that when one ewe is showing signs of the disease, there is a high risk that the more may also become infected.

At ANP we use a combination of methods to suppress the effects of the disease and fight against the infection itself. StockMins-Hoof n Horn is a complete high specification supplement designed to fortify hooves and chitinous tissue. The combined power of multiple active ingredients targeted at hoof growth, repair integrity, and infection fighting, supported by essential minerals, trace elements and elevated levels of Vitamin A, E and Iodine make StockMins-Hoof n Horn the ideal supplement for highly productive ewes this season.

For an integrated approach to avoiding and controlling hoof issues this season, give ANP a call today.