Maximise the Health of your Ewes this Winter: SAC Consulting Event, Ayr

Published Wednesday, 14th November 2012 in SAC Consulting news

Exceptionally wet weather conditions this year have resulted in reduced quality and quantity of winter feeds available.

This, together with an increase in sheep diseases caused by parasites, means farmers will need to plan ahead if they want to make sure their flocks thrive this winter

SAC Consulting (a division of SRUC) is hosting a free event on Thursday the 29th November that will provide essential advice for all sheep farmers. The practical half day workshop will cover nutrition, assessing body condition, lameness and foot health, parasite control and safe use of sheep dip. 

Rhidian Jones, Beef and Sheep Consultant, will explain how to assess which ewes may need extra care/feeding this winter, when supplementary feeding should start, and what are likely to be the most cost-effective way to ensure ewes get enough energy in the cold months ahead. Agricultural Consultant Raymond Crerar will run a practical session on assessing body condition.

Chloe McCulloch, Agricultural Consultant, says: “The parasite topics are particularly relevant now due to the recently reported rise of liver fluke in Scotland. In the last couple of weeks disease surveillance centres across the country have seen many sudden deaths in sheep due to acute fluke and, on some farms, flukicide resistance is being investigated. Farmers will need to be particularly vigilant this winter when monitoring their sheep. Heather Stevenson, SAC Consulting Veterinary Investigation Officer, will emphasise the necessity of a good fluke prevention and treatment strategy.”

The event will also feature a session from Marion McMillan, SAC Consulting Veterinary Investigation Officer, on tackling lameness, a persistent problem on many farms as the soft wet ground makes the sheep more susceptible to bacterial infections, as well a foot trimming demonstration.

With cross compliance penalties arising from inappropriate disposal of sheep dip on the minds of many farmers, Lucy Filby from SEPA will be demonstrating best practise in sheep dipping. She says: “Sheep dipping plays an important role in maintaining good animal welfare but if not handled correctly, sheep dip chemicals can cause damage to our environment. Maintaining good practice at the dipping facility, when moving dipped sheep and when disposing of waste dip can reduce the risks of damage to our rivers, lochs and groundwater.”

The meeting will be held at Ayr Market by kind permission of Craig Wilson Limited. Jim Craig is also a director of James Craig (Farms) Limited, a farming business with a 350 ewe low input sheep system, who will supply the sheep for the event. The event is funded by the Scottish Government as part of its Animal Welfare and Pollution Prevention Advisory Activities.

Attendance is free but as lunch is provided it will help the organisers if places are booked through the SAC Consulting offices in Ayr. Please contact Chloe McCulloch on 01292 525316.

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