Lameness and housing: It is looking increasingly likely with continued wet weather and diminishing grass supplies that highly stocked farms may be faced with an earlier housing date for ewes. Housing can provide the ideal conditions for a lameness issue in a flock to quickly spread and escalate leading to lower animal performance, higher costs and increased labour.

The target therefore should be to focus on addressing lameness in the weeks ahead and getting on top of any issues in advance of housing. A start can be made by segregating and batching lame sheep together for intensive treatment. This can include a combination of antibiotic treatment to address footrot or CODD and regular footbathing. Segregating lame sheep will also reduce the exposure of infection to healthy sheep and help prevent the spread of disease.