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Managing Lameness

Lameness is an extremely common problem in most flocks' management is important to minimise the discomfort to the sheep (welfare) and also to avoid loss in production. Lameness is a major welfare concern in sheep farming and has economic impact on the flock performance.

For information about the management and control of Foot Rot - Click here for a PDF

A highly useful resource is also available via the following link-

inpage-foot-problems.jpgCommon causes:

  • Foot rot and Scald 
  • Interdigital problems e.g. soil and grass ‘balling'
  • Separation of the hoof wall
  • Infections and abscesses.
  • Overgrowth of hoof leading to splitting and infection.

Other causes:

  • Injury
  • Joint ill
  • Post dipping lameness

General advice

  1. Make sure you know what is causing lameness - get a diagnosis from your Vet the right treatments are used
  2. Assess the incidence of lameness and set out a control plan with targets
  3. Segregate lame sheep for treatment and to minimise spread of infection
  4. Treat foot rot quickly, don't leave lame sheep to infect others
  5. Be prepared to cull persistently lame sheep
  6. Trim feet only if necessary. Do not routinely trim
  7. Consider vaccination as a part of the control programme
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