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Recording: In detail

Research shows that farmers who rely on memory rather than keeping records have higher levels of lameness. This is because they are slower to cull and let sheep become lame more often and for longer periods of time. See the original research paper.

Setting lameness targets is an important part of your lameness control plan. To make an informed decision on where to set it, consider your current lameness levels and talk to your vet about what lameness levels are like in your area. You should aim for a realistic number that will make a difference in the number of sheep in your flock that are lame.

Culling repeatedly or persistently lame sheep helps reduce your lameness levels. In order to identify these sheep easily, it is important to keep good records of which sheep were treated for lameness and when they were treated. Watch the video below to find out more about how culling can help you control lameness.

Important things to record:

  • Lesion type (e.g. footrot, scald)
  • Treatment (e.g. antibiotic injection, blue spray)
  • Sheep identifier (e.g. eartag number)
  • Which foot is affected
  • Date treatment given

More specific details that you may want to capture are things like which antibiotic you use, the batch code and dosage, or which group the sheep is in.

 

The University of Warwick has developed a lameness recording app [link to app page] that helps you make quick, accurate records in the field on your smartphone. You can get monthly reports showing your levels of lameness, your treatments used, and how you’re doing compared to your target. All this personalised information will help inform your flock health planning.

Below is a summary of the pros and cons of different ways of recording lameness information.

Pros and cons

What to do next
Take the quiz on recording
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