Orf - prevent/cure/management

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
Good evening, firstly happy new year and all the best for 2019.

A bit of forward planning here so hopefully you guys can help. The last 3-4 years we’ve suffered from gradually worsening cases of Orf across post lambing. Last year some of the lambs were fairly knocked by it and it also caused problems with ewes teats and we lost a far higher % to mastitis Which I feel was the result. We’ve not used any vaccinations the last lot of years and I was sort of hoping it would just work it’s way out but it seems to be getting worse.

I’d like to try and get on top of this problem ASAP. Vet has suggested scabivax for all ewes and lambs. Friends sugest rock salt. Any pointers on here?

We run a tight ship for cleanliness and plan to replace all the old pallets used for lambing pens. The hurdles used have spent the backend sitting outside so the little water we’ve had should have removed any virus. The shed walls will be white washed and I’ll double up on the amount of lime used during set up.

Cheers in advance.

Lang may yer lum reek
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Good evening, firstly happy new year and all the best for 2019.

A bit of forward planning here so hopefully you guys can help. The last 3-4 years we’ve suffered from gradually worsening cases of Orf across post lambing. Last year some of the lambs were fairly knocked by it and it also caused problems with ewes teats and we lost a far higher % to mastitis Which I feel was the result. We’ve not used any vaccinations the last lot of years and I was sort of hoping it would just work it’s way out but it seems to be getting worse.

I’d like to try and get on top of this problem ASAP. Vet has suggested scabivax for all ewes and lambs. Friends sugest rock salt. Any pointers on here?

We run a tight ship for cleanliness and plan to replace all the old pallets used for lambing pens. The hurdles used have spent the backend sitting outside so the little water we’ve had should have removed any virus. The shed walls will be white washed and I’ll double up on the amount of lime used during set up.

Cheers in advance.

Lang may yer lum reek

Rain won’t remove the virus from those pallets, but uv light may reduce it a bit, on those parts that have been exposed to the/any sun. However, whatever the lambing pens are made of, the sheep will carry the virus anyway imo.

Denis Brinicombe buckets have worked very well here for many years, and very few used (making them cheap;)). I’ve not vaccinated lambs in over 20 years, and stopped scratching the indoor lambing pedigree ewes about 5 years ago. Never see more than an odd small scab these days, and happy to have that low level infection floating around to maintain a strong natural immunity.
I certainly wouldn’t contemplate using Scabivax again.
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
Rain won’t remove the virus from those pallets, but uv light may reduce it a bit, on those parts that have been exposed to the/any sun. However, whatever the lambing pens are made of, the sheep will carry the virus anyway imo.

Denis Brinicombe buckets have worked very well here for many years, and very few used (making them cheap;)). I’ve not vaccinated lambs in over 20 years, and stopped scratching the indoor lambing pedigree ewes about 5 years ago. Never see more than an odd small scab these days, and happy to have that low level infection floating around to maintain a strong natural immunity.
I certainly wouldn’t contemplate using Scabivax again.

Thanks neilo, I was sort of hoping it would settle down with time but last year it just got worse. We've also bought in 60 gimmers so I'm not wanting to risk them. It was a real kick in the nuts after all the prep work to have lambs and ewes plagued with it during the beast from the east saga. We normally have the odd ewe with a small spot/pock but the past few years it played up with buying in gimmers. Hopefully after a few years of self replacements and cautionary treatment the flock with be back to a good level of natural immunity.

I'll look up the buckets you've mentioned and see if there's any suppliers up here.

The old pallets will be burnt asap, the hurdles are galvanised - they've been outside since May so hope the long sunny days may have helped remove some of the virus.

As you've used scabivax before - when's the best time to cover the ewes ? I'd really like to avoid the bother they had last year if possible.
 

brigadoon

Member
Location
Galloway
Obviously anything you can do to improve hygiene in the lambing shed on a cost effective basis is worthwhile but as long as you have thistles or anything jaggy on the place you will have an orf challenge.

We scratched lambs one year but found it expensive and tedious - now we put tubs of rock salt out with the lambs and while we do see some orf its not on any serious level
 

spin cycle

Member
Location
north norfolk
spin that around....i suspect the orf is a symptom not the problem

case history.....i was getting regular orf out breaks........however once i started to be more agressive in my worm control the out breaks ceased....not a case in a year

not saying it's worms in your case but there maybe a reason....in the meantime get a couple of tubby buckets from dennis brinicombe to help situation:)

dennis brinicombe sell direct....can order in multiples of 2...get delivered by courier
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Thanks neilo, I was sort of hoping it would settle down with time but last year it just got worse. We've also bought in 60 gimmers so I'm not wanting to risk them. It was a real kick in the nuts after all the prep work to have lambs and ewes plagued with it during the beast from the east saga. We normally have the odd ewe with a small spot/pock but the past few years it played up with buying in gimmers. Hopefully after a few years of self replacements and cautionary treatment the flock with be back to a good level of natural immunity.

I'll look up the buckets you've mentioned and see if there's any suppliers up here.

The old pallets will be burnt asap, the hurdles are galvanised - they've been outside since May so hope the long sunny days may have helped remove some of the virus.

As you've used scabivax before - when's the best time to cover the ewes ? I'd really like to avoid the bother they had last year if possible.

If you are scratching ewes (which might be worthwhile on those naive bought in ewes), you want any vaccination scabs to have dropped off before lambing, and preferably before housing for lambing. I used to do my pedigree ewes when I did the pre-lambing jabs, about 8 weeks before lambing.
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
From the comments above and from previous threads it looks like the dennis brinicombe buckets are worth a try. What price are the Frobut tubs and how should they be used? We have parks sheep lambed indoors and hill ewes lambed later out doors. Should they have access pre & post lambing? I’ll play safe scabivax all the bought in gimmers as if it only stops me losing 1 or 2 due to mastitis caused by orf on her bag it will be worth it.
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll

shumungus

Member
Livestock Farmer
Orf is omnipresent and like cold sores in people presents itself when the carrier is run down or stressed.
10 years ago we started vit dosing and bolusing on a regular basis, orf just disappeared and we don't vaccinate. Orf to me would be a sign of a deficiency somewhere maybe worth a few blood profiles.
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
Orf is omnipresent and like cold sores in people presents itself when the carrier is run down or stressed.
10 years ago we started vit dosing and bolusing on a regular basis, orf just disappeared and we don't vaccinate. Orf to me would be a sign of a deficiency somewhere maybe worth a few blood profiles.

Thanks for the info - we've always given oral drench but have opted to bolus this year so hopefully there's a marked reduction if there's been an unknown deficiency the last few years (next bolus due at scanning). I'd really like to get back to a comfortable/manageable level asap. I dare say it's the joys of taking opportunities of expansion when they arise - unfortunately we couldn't breed the required stock at home so had to look elsewhere.
 

shumungus

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thanks for the info - we've always given oral drench but have opted to bolus this year so hopefully there's a marked reduction if there's been an unknown deficiency the last few years (next bolus due at scanning). I'd really like to get back to a comfortable/manageable level asap. I dare say it's the joys of taking opportunities of expansion when they arise - unfortunately we couldn't breed the required stock at home so had to look elsewhere.
The bolus has better retained long-term benefits as any un absorbed drench is out of the body in 24hrs. But we will still drench before lambing to make up deficits and provide a high spike for the bolus to maintain.
 

Obi Wan

Member
Location
Argyll
The bolus has better retained long-term benefits as any un absorbed drench is out of the body in 24hrs. But we will still drench before lambing to make up deficits and provide a high spike for the bolus to maintain.

Good shout, how far in advance of lambing do you give the drench? Last lambing time was hard both weather and feed wise up here so I'm really hoping we've seen the worst of it. Really knocked some of our early lambs and put them back maybe 6 - 8 weeks. We made a good price but if they'd been off 6 weeks earlier they would have really made a difference to the bottom line
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Bump.... any Idea on price and when/where/how is best to use the Forbut dennis brinicombe buckets. Cheers

I put them out when I think I might see arisk, usuallyfrom about 3-4 weeks post lambing. They nibble at them, without taking any great quantity, so you can put the lids back on and store them away for another year when the risk is passed. I would only put out about 1 to a hundred lambs, and the same buckets will do several years.
I change mine for the Cocci & Orf buckets from 6-8 weeks, so as to cover both problems, which obviously limits intakes of the straight Frobut ones.

On the Himalayan Rock Salt (which i’ve Never found anywhere near as effective tbh), @[email protected] on here will supply the same product at approaching half the price.;)
 
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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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