News / AHS
Sheep sheds often start off as dry and relatively clean areas for sheep housing, but as time passes, moisture, faeces, body fluids and other animal contamination, (including bacteria and protozoa), raise to a level which can cause issues for sheep and lamb health.
Pruex have learned a great deal over the last three lambing seasons and have developed a simple 5 point plan that attempts to help shepherds reduce the risk of watery mouth and joint Ill.
Within the plan, farmers will need misting equipment to apply Animal House Stabiliser (AHS Green Top), to bedding and Water Plus (Blue Top) to water. These products can be viewed or purchased from the buttons below.
Two years ago Mathew Isaac started using the Pruex protocol to try and reduce 'Joint Ill and Watery Mouth'........How did they achieve this???
As a result Joint Ill was not a problem for young lambs. This significantly reduced the use of antibiotics within the flock from an already low level.
They have repeated the Pruex protocol this year and are spraying the bedding with AHS daily and using the Water Plus to treat the water. This year Mathew has seen a significant reduction in antibiotic use and no 'Joint Ill'.
Samples taken, as illustrated above, show a single E.coli colony (bright pink), within the bedding, probably originating from ewe faeces, and no e.coli growing on the ewes face. The plate labelled 'Land drain Water' shows both good bacteria and bad bacteria, the purple e.coli and the turquoise streps obviously coming from sheep droppings within the water pipes. These droppings are removed daily and there is a commitment to raising the level at which the pipes are situated to prevent this problem.
Watery mouth and Joint Ill can be the result of bacterial contaminations within water and bedding. Pruex work with farmers to reduce the risk of infection from disease causing bacteria, therefore, reducing the need for antibiotic treatment.
Mathew hasn't had watery mouth or Joint Ill as a result of his good management and Pruex protocols (apart from one lamb that failed to receive colostrum. Over a thousand ewes lambed).
The national mastitis plan concludes that clinical infections within the first 30 to 60 days of lactation can be contributed to infections originating from the dry period or calving pen.
Having an environment that is non infective during this crucial period is vital for cow recovery and calf health post calving. We all know the importance of colostrum management, but sometimes our focus on water quality for cows, and dry bedding can slip often due to sheer stock pressure.
Many spring block calving herds in the British and Irish Isles are dry in December and January. This is however a vital time to ensure cow and calf health come calving time.
In this video, Cornishman Andrew Brewer, who milks around 700 cows on a low cost, once a day system discusses how he has worked with Pruex to help solve some of the issues he was facing that were a drain on financial resources and increased his costs significantly. By concentrating on improving the environment his cows are housed in during the winter, he has seen bedding and animal health costs reduce. He has achieved in excess of a 70% reduction in antibiotic use for mastitis since focusing on his animals' environment. Fantastic Andrew. Well done the team at Ennis Barton Farm.