Sheep

Everything you need to know if you are a sheep owner

Faecal Egg Counting

Faecal egg counting is usually performed on a group of sheep:

  • The same age
  • The same reproductive status
  • Grazing together in the same field
  • Having had the same worm treatments

Individual testing can be done if required please contact us to discuss.

Collection of faeces

  • Simply walking around a field and picking up “fresh” faeces samples is not considered to be reliable
  • Easiest way to collect faeces is to loosely gather sheep in the corner of a field for 5 to 10 minutes, then let them walk away. Fresh samples can then be collected from the pasture
  • At least 10 sheep should be sampled (this is generally accepted as an acceptable compromise between cost and repeatability). Each sample should be at least a heaped teaspoon full
  • Sheep should be healthy and have access to pasture and/or feed before sampling
  • Samples must be fresh when collected (less than 1 hour old) and then kept cool (not frozen) in an air tight container or plastic bag
  • The individual faeces samples should be collected separately and will be mixed in our laboratory to ensure a more accurate average result is given
  • Samples should be delivered to the Practice on the same day as collection, during office hours
  • If samples are delivered to us before 10am we will try and get a result to you before the end of the day
  • If faeces is too old some eggs will have hatched and the FEC will be an underestimate
  • We recommend that separate groups of lambs and/or ewes are tested separately; this allows treatment decisions on a group by group basis. They will not all be the same

Please bring with you the following information to enable us to give you the best advice:

  • Number of animals in the sampled group
  • The length of time on the current pasture
  • The age of the animals
  • The date they were last dosed on and the dose that was used
  • The condition of the animals
  • The length of time they are expected to remain on the pasture

Resistance testing - Faecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT)

A FEC is taken prior to dosing and should be at least 300epg.  A second FEC is then done following the treatment to measure it’s effectiveness.  The timing varies depending on the treatment given.

  • White drench, BZ, e.g. Rycoben SC – sample 10 to 14 days after treatment
  • Yellow drench, LM, e.g. Levacide 3% – sample 7 days after treatment
  • Clear drench, ML, e.g. Noromectin Drench – sample 14 to 16 days after treatment
  • Orange drench, AD, Zolvix – no resistance yet

If you would like to discuss faecal egg counting or anything else with regard to worming sheep please contact us.

Click here to print a form to accompany faeces to the Practice.

Orf Vaccination can boost lamb returns

Use of Scabivax to reduce Orf in your flock

For flocks struggling with an Orf problem, strategic vaccination of newborn lambs this spring can easily make the difference between profit and loss. Vaccination provides the best route to effective disease control and is increasingly becoming a marketing aid for flocks troubled by the disease.

Often a flock’s first experience of Orf is at a time when the peak lamb sales period is approaching and if lambs become infected these dates can be missed. This can be highly costly, not only will the lambs have to be kept for longer they will also drift away from ideal conformation and fat class. It is generally found everywhere sheep and goats are farmed.

Orf is caused by a virus commonly seen in young lambs around the mouth or gums and nostrils. And because of the classical position of the lesions, it often threatens to cause mastitis in ewes as well as limiting a lamb’s ability to suck.

The Orf virus itself is tough and extremely resilient. It can survive for a long time on the skin and in bedding or on pasture. It can also strike out of the blue in closed flocks with no history of a problem.

If you’ve never seen Orf in your flock, your aim should be to maintain disease free status by carefully selecting rams and replacement ewes from known Orf-free premises. Bought-in stock should be isolated from the main flock and examined for any signs of disease. In addition, it makes sense to practise good pasture management with the emphasis on controlling thistles.

If Orf does break out in your flock, consider a vaccination programme. As well as delivering Orf prevention on an on-going annual basis, the Scabivax Forte vaccine will also help reduce the severity of the outbreak and protect animals not yet infected.

Call into the Office for your FREE Orf Starter Information pack, which includes a wealth of information on the disease and its control.

Planning for the P System

Heptavac P Plus vaccination of sheep and lambs

Organising pre-lambing boosters of Heptavac-P Plus and getting replacement breeding stock on the ‘P’ system takes on another dimension this year for flocks as they need to plan for bluetongue vaccinations as well. 

However, working out the best strategy with your vet now, ensures that timings will be accurate. Plus, the correct quantities of vaccines can be ordered.

Any producers thinking about cutting back on pasteurella and clostridial vaccines this year to save cash should remember that a 5 to 1 return on vaccinating with Heptavac-P Plus has been calcuated.

It is proven to control pasteurella pneumonia and the seven major clostridial diseases. The P system involves two doses given 4 -6 weeks apart to replacement breeding stock before they join the flock.

Boosters 4-6 weeks before lambing will maintain the ewe’s immunity and have the added benefit that this also raises antibody levels in her colostrum, so that protection is passed on to lambs.

Immunity won’t be passed on if lambs don’t drink at least 50ml/kg bodyweight of colostrum within six hours of birth. Once the lambs have grown past the initial early days, the protective effects wear off and lambs should also be vaccinated at around three weeks of age.

Please contact us now to discuss the timing of your vaccinations.

Ectoparasites

Advice for farmers with confirmed sheep scab

  • Alert the suspected source (e.g. the seller of purchased sheep or neighbours)
  • Warn owners of sheep in neighbouring fields and try to arrange for them to treat at the same time as you
  • Treat all sheep on the farm (scab can be indirectly transferred through handling facilities, buildings and fields)
  • Sheep scab mites remain infective for up to 21 days off the sheep. If you cannot avoid returning sheep to a contaminated area after treatment you are advised to use a product with residual effect (all products listed below)
  • Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully
  • Check product labels before administering any other medicines at the same time
  • Moxidectin (“Cydectin”) cannot be used in sheep vaccinated with “Footvax”

Plunge dipping

  • In Organophosphate (Diazinon) (OP) e.g “Coopers Ectoforce” and “Gold Fleece”
  • Showering/Spraying sheep has no effect on scab
  • Avoid plunge dipping in extremes of heat or cold and allow time for sheep to dry before night
  • Dispose dips according to current rules and regulations
  • Avoid shearing for 3 months following OP dipping
  • Avoid washing for 4 weeks

Injecting

“Cydectin” (Moxidectin) 1% injection for Sheep: 1 injection under the skin (1ml per 50Kg) or
“Dectomax” (Doramectin): 1 injection into muscle (1ml per 33Kg)

  • Weigh sheep before injecting
  • Calibrate the syringe
  • Mites are only killed when feeding so may not die immediately. Isolate from clean sheep for 14 days following injection
  • Sheep treated by injection may continue to show irritation for several weeks due to sensitive skin
  • Pens used to handle scab infected sheep can remain contaminated for up to 21 days

To prevent reinfection

  • Check shared fences and repair as necessary
  • Double-fencing is highly recommended
  • Treat incoming sheep and quarantine for 3 weeks to ensure mites are killed prior to mixing with the home flock

If you wish to discuss the problem, or any other problems, as part of your on going Flock Health
Plan please contact us.

Click here for External Parasite/Ectoparasite treatments.

Always check data sheet, product warnings, withdrawal periods and dose rates before use.

Please contact the Office to discuss a particular problem prior to treatment.

Practice information

Lampeter Surgery

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  • Mon
    8:30am - 5:00pm
  • Tue
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wed
    8:30am - 4:00pm
  • Thu
    8:30am - 5:00pm
  • Fri
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Sat
    9:00am - 10:00am
  • Sun
    Closed

Emergency Details

Please call:

01570 422322
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Find us here:

5 High Street Lampeter SA48 7BA
get directions with Google Maps
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Please call this number for emergencies:

01570 422322

Tregaron Surgery (CLOSED)

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  • Mon
    Closed
  • Tue
    Closed
  • Wed
    Closed
  • Thu
    Closed
  • Fri
    Closed
  • Sat
    Closed
  • Sun
    Closed

Emergency Details

Please call:

01570 422322
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Find us here:

Station Road Tregaron SY25 6HX
get directions with Google Maps
Back

Please call this number for emergencies:

01570 422322