Schmallenberg?

andybk

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mendips Somerset
Had a 3 or 4 like this lambing this time ,soggy body , pointy head no eyes ,thought it might be ovivac reaction but unvaxed hogg lambed today with one ,all ewes have had a good lamb along with the dodgy one so not a disaster , wondering about schmallenberg ?though i think they both might be affected, all ewes from different groups / ages , Just wondered if anyone else has had one.
 

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TibTib

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
It doesnt look deformed like with scmallenburg. Its died so it looks weird because its not full term. It always amazes me how one lamb can die and the ewe and other lambs can still be perfectly healthy.
 

andybk

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mendips Somerset
Are your ewes toxovaxed? I would get a test done for toxoplasmosis.

Are the live lambs strong or weak?
no not toxovaxed etc , live lambs are strong no issues ,have had a good lambing % as well , ewes fed wrapped baled haylage pre lambing, only feed hay post lambing , variety of ages affected , just havnt seen this one before .
 

moo-baa

Member
Location
Dorset
Well at least the live lambs are well. Maybe worth a vaccine next year. It’s expensive but I think it lasts a long time if irc. Good luck with the rest of lambing.
 
I'll punt on Toxo too. But get it confirmed by a diagnosis before spending big bucks on vaccinating your breeding flock. One shot at least 8 weeks prior to 1st mating should do your breeding ewes for a lifetime. It is a live vaccine, hence time is required to build up antibodies and kill off the vax before they are mated.

Assuming it is toxoplasmosis:
  • Obviously you have not had this disease before.
  • Aborted foetuses largely occur just before flock lambing commences and dribbles into the 1st week. A big outbreak can be very depressing, as it starts the lambing on a very sour note.
  • Cats are the main vector. Unfortunately once it enters the environment it usually doesn't disappear. Cats in hay and feed sheds spread the bug via their faeces.
  • Easier to vaccinate than control cats.
  • At the current sheep values, the cost benefit of vaccinating is persuasive.
  • Once a ewe aborts, she has lifetime immunity. It is not spread sheep to sheep.
  • The bug attacks the placenta starving the foetus which goes dark brown to black. Sometimes only one of twins may be affected.
  • Unlike some abortion diseases (eg. Salmonella brandenburg) the aborting material is all expelled, therefore subsequent pregnancies are unaffected.
  • Some flocks have had over 20% of ewes aborting, so worth sorting out while infections are at a low level.
Hope this helps.
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
I'll punt on Toxo too. But get it confirmed by a diagnosis before spending big bucks on vaccinating your breeding flock. One shot at least 8 weeks prior to 1st mating should do your breeding ewes for a lifetime. It is a live vaccine, hence time is required to build up antibodies and kill off the vax before they are mated.

Assuming it is toxoplasmosis:
  • Obviously you have not had this disease before.
  • Aborted foetuses largely occur just before flock lambing commences and dribbles into the 1st week. A big outbreak can be very depressing, as it starts the lambing on a very sour note.
  • Cats are the main vector. Unfortunately once it enters the environment it usually doesn't disappear. Cats in hay and feed sheds spread the bug via their faeces.
  • Easier to vaccinate than control cats.
  • At the current sheep values, the cost benefit of vaccinating is persuasive.
  • Once a ewe aborts, she has lifetime immunity. It is not spread sheep to sheep.
  • The bug attacks the placenta starving the foetus which goes dark brown to black. Sometimes only one of twins may be affected.
  • Unlike some abortion diseases (eg. Salmonella brandenburg) the aborting material is all expelled, therefore subsequent pregnancies are unaffected.
  • Some flocks have had over 20% of ewes aborting, so worth sorting out while infections are at a low level.
Hope this helps.
Is this 100% right? The girl that works for me had an expensive Irish ewe abort/confirmed toxo and she was going to vaccinated all of the other ewes she has because of this 1 ewe but there are supply issues getting the toxovax. She thinks the ewe aborted before she came inside as there was no blood or evidence except she just never lambed so bloods were done.

So how does a toxo storm develop? All sheep having heavily contaminated feed etc? Would forage only fed ewes outdoor lambing be a lot less susceptible to a storm?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Is this 100% right? The girl that works for me had an expensive Irish ewe abort/confirmed toxo and she was going to vaccinated all of the other ewes she has because of this 1 ewe but there are supply issues getting the toxovax. She thinks the ewe aborted before she came inside as there was no blood or evidence except she just never lambed so bloods were done.

So how does a toxo storm develop? All sheep having heavily contaminated feed etc? Would forage only fed ewes outdoor lambing be a lot less susceptible to a storm?

I’m not sure it’s 100%, but mixing Toxo aborted ewes with naive non-pregnant sheep was always considered an effective way of inoculating them at one time. Not so good if it happened to be Enzo though.😲

I should say it’s also the case for expensive bought-in ewes. I bought a ewe back in the summer for just short of £3k. She’s one of only a couple that have slipped lambs this year. :banghead: Still have some lambs from a couple of ET flushes, so at least the family has been reintroduced, as was the plan.
 
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andybk

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mendips Somerset
thanks for all your replies , we did used to vax when we fed hay pre lambing , we stopped that about 10 years ago due to feeding wrapped haylage , the only source of infection now maybe the straw we buy in , though that farm has no cats but maybe foxes ? ,we do feed hay post lambing the idea was that if there were any issues with that feed it would expose the flock to the disease and some immunity was gained ,
When we had it i the past , as said above the ewes aborted all lambs about a week early or lambs were very weak at birth , this time one brown one one good strong one , thats why i asked the question looks like will have to start vaxing next summer
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
no not toxovaxed etc , live lambs are strong no issues ,have had a good lambing % as well , ewes fed wrapped baled haylage pre lambing, only feed hay post lambing , variety of ages affected , just havnt seen this one before .

I think I saw somewhere the other day that there is foc testing of aborted ewes for Toxo and enzo available through vets again. Worth enquiring anyway.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
thanks for all your replies , we did used to vax when we fed hay pre lambing , we stopped that about 10 years ago due to feeding wrapped haylage , the only source of infection now maybe the straw we buy in , though that farm has no cats but maybe foxes ? ,we do feed hay post lambing the idea was that if there were any issues with that feed it would expose the flock to the disease and some immunity was gained ,
When we had it i the past , as said above the ewes aborted all lambs about a week early or lambs were very weak at birth , this time one brown one one good strong one , thats why i asked the question looks like will have to start vaxing next summer

iirc it only takes something like 1g of infected cat faeces to infect a hell of a lot of sheep. If that 1g happened to be in a load of barley that went to feeding sheep… :(
 
Location
Cleveland
I’m not sure it’s 100%, but mixing Toxo aborted ewes with naive non-pregnant sheep was always considered an effective way of inoculating them at one time. Not so good if it happened to be Enzo though.😲

I should say it’s also the case for expensive bought-in ewes. I bought a ewe back in the summer for just short of £3k. She’s one of only a couple that have slipped lambs this year. :banghead: Still have some lambs from a couple of ET flushes, so at least the family has been reintroduced, as was the plan.
Why is it always the best that die and slip….never the auld screw you would love to cull
 

Jerry

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Devon
I think I saw somewhere the other day that there is foc testing of aborted ewes for Toxo and enzo available through vets again. Worth enquiring anyway.

Yes MSD are offering it free along with schmallenberg testing. My vets said they are seeing a bit of Schmlleberg this year, up from last coule years, and their thinking is it follows a 3 year cycle.
 

andybk

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mendips Somerset
iirc it only takes something like 1g of infected cat faeces to infect a hell of a lot of sheep. If that 1g happened to be in a load of barley that went to feeding sheep… :(
no barley used , all bought in nuts these days , stored in a tower silo , but get your point , only other source of infection maybe feed troughs outdoors under trees , that gets bird sht in when they roost at night
 

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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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