Caring for Sheep – Hoof Care

Date: 09/07/18

Caring for Sheep – Hoof Care

In our previous sheep health care blogs, we have looked at how Kilco supports your flock by providing a wide range of nutritional and environmental products, promoting health and wellbeing throughout their lifecycle. In this sheep health care article, we’ll take a look at how Kilco can help keep your flock on its feet, with regular preventative foot bath products, and specialist products to treat outbreaks of hoof diseases.

Sheep hoof care is essential in any flock, not only for the good of the sheep, but also to protect your own livelihood. Under DEFRA regulations, it is illegal to transport any animal that is unfit for travel, and in sheep, this includes animals that are unable to bear their weight on all four legs. Sheep hoof infections can severely disrupt your plans and lead to significant costs.

Regular footbaths are the preferred solution to both regular maintenance and disease treatment. Traditionally, these have involved zinc or copper sulphate solutions, or, more recently, chemicals such as formalin. While all of these can be effective, they all have significant drawbacks. Zinc requires a long stand time of five minutes, which can be difficult and time consuming to arrange with a large flock. Copper Sulphate works faster, but can be toxic to sheep and wildlife. Both are also harmful to the environment and so difficult to dispose of. Formalin carries less environmental risks and is frequently used in footbath treatments, however it is now known to be both toxic and carcinogenic, and so must be used with extreme care.

Kilco offers three alternative products that are all environmentally friendly, quick and easy to use, and highly effective. For regular footbaths, Farmalin maintenance is an innovative, aldehyde-free treatment that not only controls infections, using IONAS barrier technology, but also provides hoof and skin conditioning. With just a fifteen second stand time, it is both effective and efficient. During an outbreak of foot rot or other bacterial infection, such as scald or contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CoDD), Farmalin Intense provides additional microbial control, and passes EN1656 for major pathogens such as Psuedomonas Aeruginosa, Proteus Vulgaris, Staphylococcus Aureus, Enterococcus Hirae. In addition, Kilco Superhoof Plus offers a copper-free antibacterial and conditioning agent to improve hoof condition.

Together these products provide a complete hoof care regime for foot bathing, reducing dependence on environmentally damaging, and in some cases dangerous, chemicals. With a regular foot bathing regime, Kilco can help keep your flock’s hooves healthy, protecting their welfare and your business. 

Kilco has been helping British farmers for 65 years, and will now step up to provide even greater care as part of Kersia, a global leader in biosecurity and food safety, to deliver food safety from farm to fork. Our ownership may have changed, but we remain as committed as ever to providing farmers with environmentally friendly, effective protection and support. 

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