Now is When Sheep Farmers Should Look to the Health of their Ewes – Edzell Event from Scotland’s Rural College

Published Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 in SAC Consulting news

A sheep farmers meeting in Edzell on 30th October will consider planning ahead after a difficult year.

The wet conditions have favoured the diseases and parasites threatening their stock and reduced the quantity and quality of winter feed available. Proper planning for the months ahead will be vital, especially in the run up to the main “tupping” time when the rams join the ewes.

The free event is organised by experts from SAC Consulting, A Division of SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College. It will be held at Tillyarblet , Glen Lethnot near Edzel in Angus, staring at 10.00am.

It will stress how maximizing the numbers of lambs sold is the key to profitable sheep farming and how careful planning and management of the flock will pay dividends. This is especially true for the females and the key focus of the event will be on the health issues affecting the breeding ewe. 

Ewe lameness, parasites like fluke, sheep tick and sheep scab all impact on ewe condition. Identifying problems and managing ewes to prevent and eliminate these as issues will greatly improve the economic return from the ewe flock. SAC Consultant Jane Fowlie, from the Forfar Office, is event organiser:

“Ewes in poor condition produce and rear fewer lambs, identifying and managing the factors that reduce ewe condition will improve the economic returns to the farm business.”

The open day involves a number of SRUC specialists including John Vipond and Perth based Vet, David Gibson. He will demonstrate how to identify the main foot diseases and discuss control measures. Respected sheep expert John Vipond will discuss the financial impact of sheep scab, sheep tick, liver fluke and lameness.

Sheep Tick and Sheep Scab, although generally under control within Angus and Kincardineshire are still a recurrent problem. Under the Sheep Scab (Scotland) Order 2010 Sheep Scab is a notifiable disease which can, if left untreated cause serious animal welfare issues. Sheep tick is increasing within the area especially in upland areas; it is a cause of ill thrift in lambs and adult sheep plus is the carrier for Lyme disease which can affect humans.

Meanwhile Liver Fluke infestation is a growing issue within Scotland and already established in certain areas within the North East. Fluke infection impacts on ewe performance and body condition, understanding the life cycle and available control measures will improve animal welfare. A noted source of the spread is the movement of breeding stock. is largely noted as the main source of distribution.

Jane Fowlie says “It is vital to determine the condition of your ewes now or their fertility and conception rates may be affected. There is time to make changes and deal with health issues. It is not too late to rectify the situation for flocks lambing March April onwards.”

Attendance is free but as lunch is provided it will help the organisers if places are booked through the SAC Consulting offices at Stonehaven (01569 762305) or Forfar (01307 464033).  

Further information on the Ewe Health Workshop.

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