2014-11-03  facebooktwitterrss

Baa Mat Sheep Foot Health System Launched

A new, three-part foot health system to help protect sheep against lameness has been launched by G Shepherd Animal Health (GSAH).

Company director Graham Shepherd, who is a veterinarian, points out that lameness is a major problem facing sheep farmers. It causes severe losses and has a significant impact on the farm business, he says. Tackling lameness is also important from a welfare stance and lameness can have a negative effect on public perceptions.

Baa Mat

Baa Mat

The three-part foot health system includes the ‘Baa-Mat’, a footbath chemical and a specially-formulated mineral block, explains Mr Shepherd. The Baa Mat is a PVC-based mat, with an inside mesh covering over an inner layer of thick sponge. It is designed to fit inside a creep feeder, but it can also be secured to a fence, with the mineral block placed on top. The footbath chemical is added to the covered sponge.

“Either way, the sheep are tempted to stand on the mat, so their feet are bathed in the chemical several times a day,” says Mr Shepherd.
“We recommend a rate of one Baa Mat per 100 ewes or store lambs. The solution should be topped up weekly and the mats washed monthly.”

“We can also supply an effective footbath solution, to be used in conjunction with the Baa-Mat. It is based on organic acids and has added tea tree oil and zinc. The fact that the ewes or lambs frequently stand on the soaked mat is the key to the system’s success.

“The mineral lick bucket used to encourage the sheep to stand on the mat contains chelated zinc and biotin, to strengthen the bond between the hoof wall and the underlying tissues. Concentrate feeds reduce the production of biotin by the rumen, so daily supplementation will help to maximise performance. The blocks are low in magnesium and have added salt, to encourage drinking and reduce the risk of urinary stones.”


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