Incidence and Characterization of Feedlot Lambs and Ewe Flock Lameness
Sheep production in Canada is increasing (one million head on 11,000 farms of which 2,000 farms are in Alberta), due to the growing demand for lamb meat by consumers over the last five years as a result of growing ethnic markets. Consequently, both ewe flocks and growing/finishing lamb feedlots have been increasing in number and size within Alberta to meet the demand for this growing market.
Lameness is a common cause of welfare and economic concern in most sheep producing countries. For example,
Healthy foot vs foot affected with foot rot
Canadian sheep and lamb producers consider lameness a serious health and welfare issue, resulting in high culls rates of breeding stock, reduced ewe productivity, slow growth performance of feeder lambs, and high
Lame feedlot sheep
Knowledge generated by this research team on the occurrence, types and causes of lameness will help improve how producers and veterinarians diagnose lameness to improve prevention, treatment and control of the disease. This will benefit both animal health, welfare and production economics by providing sheep producers and small ruminant veterinarians with science-based information regarding disease diagnostics and animal management risk factors. This information is critical in mitigating the effects of lameness in the Alberta sheep industry. As well, it will help identify additional areas of research to help prevent the most common causes of lameness e.g. best management practices and new vaccines.
Research Team members needed:
YOU –THE PRODUCERS!
We invite you to help us study this problem so that together we can learn how to minimize sheep lameness and improve animal welfare and productivity.
What we are asking:
We are looking for producers who are willing to share information with us via mail, email, fax or text, in the event that they have a lameness case arise on their farm.
The information we would like you to collect includes animal identification, history of lameness for the animal and farm, diagnosis, treatment, results of treatment, photographs of lesion, comments such as severity of the lameness (ability to bear weight or not), recent weather events, and pen or pasture conditions (wet or dry).
Forms will be provided to facilitate recording and reporting cases of lameness.
For further information: [email protected] or 403-915-5864