What should I vaccinate sheep for.

Uggman

Member
Livestock Farmer
Hi I come from a farming family who don't vaccinate for anything hoping to get animals to build up own immunity apart from bluetongue the 1st year which was a waste of money and I've married into a family that does vaccinate for a lot off things and now I got my own sheep about 15 charlais ewes and a couple of blue texels I'm just wondering if I should vaccinate for anything and what are your thoughts I've got 1 empty ewe one ewelamb empty and two prolapsed
Ewelambs so no real problems but these will be culled. A few lambs with sore feet.Sorry for long post.
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Right, I don’t vaccinate for anything except footvax once a year for footrot, i am debating dropping this on the main flock and possibly only doing the ewe lambs/rams.
I have looked into doing both enzovax and toxovax, this year I’ve had probably 15-20 ewes abort (out of 1500) either 2 weeks early or very slightly early but due to predominantly outdoor lambing it’s never gained a pattern, a few ewes aborted the same day a month ago yet I can guarantee that 4 of those ewes had never seen each other so more of a bad luck thing.
I’ve looked at heptavac, ovivac but speaking to people about their losses from 2 days old who do vaccinate quite often their losses were similar or sometimes greater than my average?

On a smaller scale of sheep every lamb has to count but to what actual financial gain etc I’m not sure? I’ve said on here before my vet/med/flukicide/worming/boluses/mineral tubs combined comes to under £9/ewe.

I am certainly not saying that my way is perfect by any means and I may succumb to losses that could be prevented but the extra handling, stress and financial cost I am really not sure if I could find it worth it.
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Heptavac P Plus or similar is kind of the minimum most pedigree buyers would expect sheep to have and there are plenty of folk advertising ewes 'vaccinated for enzo' and toxo'. I'd think long and hard about buying a tup that would require a serious quarantine when I got him home in order to vaccinate him properly before he met my ewes.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Hi I come from a farming family who don't vaccinate for anything hoping to get animals to build up own immunity apart from bluetongue the 1st year which was a waste of money and I've married into a family that does vaccinate for a lot off things and now I got my own sheep about 15 charlais ewes and a couple of blue texels I'm just wondering if I should vaccinate for anything and what are your thoughts I've got 1 empty ewe one ewelamb empty and two prolapsed
Ewelambs so no real problems but these will be culled. A few lambs with sore feet.Sorry for long post.
Lambs don’t gain immunity to clostridial diseases through challenge, they die!

Think of vaccination like insurance. You might not pay a premium for years, saving a pretty penny, then one day you get robbed/have a fire and the cost of loss is so big that you really wish you’d paid those premiums so that the insurance claim would help you out of a spot.

Weighing up what makes financial sense to cover against is down to individuals of course, but anyone that doesn’t cover against (at least) clostridial diseases deserves little sympathy when they do get hit by a flare up imo.

Presumably the aim of the Charollais and Dirty Texel flocks are to sell pedigree stock at higher value? As @Longlowdog suggested, most buyers paying such a premium would surely expect them to be covered for the basics?
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Lambs don’t gain immunity to clostridial diseases through challenge, they die!

Think of vaccination like insurance. You might not pay a premium for years, saving a pretty penny, then one day you get robbed/have a fire and the cost of loss is so big that you really wish you’d paid those premiums so that the insurance claim would help you out of a spot.

Weighing up what makes financial sense to cover against is down to individuals of course, but anyone that doesn’t cover against (at least) clostridial diseases deserves little sympathy when they do get hit by a flare up imo.
Totally true 👍🏻
Any idea what the total cost would be per year to vaccinate for heptavac p + on all ewes plus ovivac P + all lambs then enzo/toxo however many times needed, footvax plus any other vaccinations without including scabivax or specialist ones like that?
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Totally true 👍🏻
Any idea what the total cost would be per year to vaccinate for heptavac p + on all ewes plus ovivac P + all lambs then enzo/toxo however many times needed, footvax plus any other vaccinations without including scabivax or specialist ones like that?
Lots, much like the farm insurance invoice I’ve just paid.

My point was that a fire/pikey clearout/abortion storm/lamb dysentery outbreak would pay for several years’ premiums/vaccinations...
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
It depends if you can find vaccine for 15 sheep, eg if you can sneak some off the in-laws to do your own

I personally don't remember to vaccinate ours unless I see some in the fridge, no point buying big packs of it to dose a handful of sheep and having it sit around til it's past its use-by date .
But we could have done if we grabbed a few spare doses off the neighbour (toxo) except none of them remembered either 🙄
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
@Kiwi Pete we are fortunate enough to be able to buy Toxo, and Heptavac etc in 20 or 25 dose bottles as well as in larger quantities. Yeah those of us with smaller flocks pay a premium but that's the price to pay for producing small numbers of hopefully high value sheep often with dosing happening numerous times from Christmas to spring with various flushes and A.I days being produced in smaller batches, so the waste usually isn't enormous or of tremendous significance in the grand scheme of tups and ewes valued way above commercial fat lambs. Plus only the clostridial jag is quite time sensitive, the rest can be done in bigger mobs when it suits often with neighbours banding together.
 
What I have learnt recently at great pain, is that you can probably mostly get away without vaccinating abs the cost of loses and vaccine balances out. But if you get a bad year it is truly horrendous, and it’s just if you can weather that. I have always hep-p ewes and ovi vac lambs or we lose stuff in autumn. From this year on, I will be enzo vac. Currently at about 250 dead lambs and counting.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
@Kiwi Pete we are fortunate enough to be able to buy Toxo, and Heptavac etc in 20 or 25 dose bottles as well as in larger quantities. Yeah those of us with smaller flocks pay a premium but that's the price to pay for producing small numbers of hopefully high value sheep often with dosing happening numerous times from Christmas to spring with various flushes and A.I days being produced in smaller batches, so the waste usually isn't enormous or of tremendous significance in the grand scheme of tups and ewes valued way above commercial fat lambs. Plus only the clostridial jag is quite time sensitive, the rest can be done in bigger mobs when it suits often with neighbours banding together.
Ideal, that makes it a LOT easier. Most around here will only order the bare minimum and if they have a good season, then it leaves no spare!
Our place is particularly bad for pulpy kidney and tetanus, interestingly lambings went well but it's young calves that seem to show the impacts.

I know there was general scoffing upthread about breeding immunity in, but susceptibility being "a dying breed" is quite real down here.
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
Totally true 👍🏻
Any idea what the total cost would be per year to vaccinate for heptavac p + on all ewes plus ovivac P + all lambs then enzo/toxo however many times needed, footvax plus any other vaccinations without including scabivax or specialist ones like that?
just under £1 a jab for small lots, minimum 25 jabs. So £50 for your small flock of adults the first year (2 jabs a month apart), and then £25 for annual booster. If you did the lambs too, it’s going to be the same as first year for the ewes.

Budget on £75/year and you won’t be far wrong.

Edit - this is for the OP, not Al R.
 
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beardface

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East Yorkshire
I do all ewes and gimmers in autumn with footvax as soils get cold and wet in winter here. Then do ewes with bravoxin (roughly 21p a dose I think) then lambs at 8-12 weeks get first bravoxin dose any still here after 4 weeks another dose and then gimmers get ovipast in autumn then bravoxin again at shearing. Also toxo in gimmers/shearling. With bolus once or twice year plus cans of foot spray 2-3 bottles ab for feet or lambing period. Havnt totted it up proper before but would be roughly £2-3 a ewe. Plus wormer and tubbies for lambs and fly spray on top.

We used to not do any vax when I was younger, but had bad do with lamb dysentery one year. Then went from covexin to hep p. Just can't justify the p in ewes though so do bravoxin now as covers more stuff. Also use it on cattle.
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
@Kiwi Pete if fat lambs were worth $250 Nz would you not be tempted to keep as many alive with a vaccine and allow only your breeding replacement ewe lambs to undergo trial by fire? Lamb and cull ewe trade is currently booming and we don't have to save very many to justify the vaccination costs including labour.
Please note I'm not critical of your thought process merely curious. I fully appreciate systems and scales of production differ vastly from district to district in this country let alone half way round the world.
 

primmiemoo

Member
Location
Devon
Ideal, that makes it a LOT easier. Most around here will only order the bare minimum and if they have a good season, then it leaves no spare!
Our place is particularly bad for pulpy kidney and tetanus, interestingly lambings went well but it's young calves that seem to show the impacts.

I know there was general scoffing upthread about breeding immunity in, but susceptibility being "a dying breed" is quite real down here.
Pulpy kidney and other clostridials are only preventable through passive immunity to the calf and lamb through colostrum from vaccinated dams. Once that has gone at 10 - 12 weeks (iirc), the young animal is vulnerable to infection unless vaccinated.

Overall, vaccines are cheap to buy, and can be reasonably easily added to gathering jobs to administer.

The replacement ewe lambs here last year were more than decimated by pulpy kidney. It's rare here, but the weather conditions must have activated the bug when their passive immunity had ended by a matter of days. Hardly ever have blackleg in sheep or cattle, nowadays ~ because of vaccination.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
@Kiwi Pete if fat lambs were worth $250 Nz would you not be tempted to keep as many alive with a vaccine and allow only your breeding replacement ewe lambs to undergo trial by fire? Lamb and cull ewe trade is currently booming and we don't have to save very many to justify the vaccination costs including labour.
Please note I'm not critical of your thought process merely curious. I fully appreciate systems and scales of production differ vastly from district to district in this country let alone half way round the world.
That's why I got rid of my sheep, worth too much $$$ to justify culling sh!t sheep so I quit while I was ahead (y)

but likewise I can fully appreciate the "buy lots of insurance" mentality, the problem with that is that the woolly feckers then die of something else and you can't spend your way out of it
 

Uggman

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thank you all for taking time to reply it's just a different mindset I think going from one extreme to the other but you've given me a bit to think about
 

farmerm

Member
Location
Shropshire
What I have learnt recently at great pain, is that you can probably mostly get away without vaccinating abs the cost of loses and vaccine balances out. But if you get a bad year it is truly horrendous, and it’s just if you can weather that. I have always hep-p ewes and ovi vac lambs or we lose stuff in autumn. From this year on, I will be enzo vac. Currently at about 250 dead lambs and counting.
I am convinced lambing losses across the country are high this year, everyone seems to have tales of woe. If not enzo they have have had toxo or listeriosis. We mated 90 ewes, have had more than 15% of ewes abort because of campylobacter with more that have lambs affected by it, not a disease we can vaccinate for :banghead: :cautious: Frankly I have quit counting losses but I am not expecting to finish more than 100 lambs of these 90 lowland ewes.
 

Agrivator

Member
Always vaccinate against Chlostridial diseases. It protects both the ewes and their offspring, but do it at least three weeks before lambing,

Do not vaccinate against Orf. Do not buy sheep which have been scratched for Orf. Control gorse and thistles to reduce its spread.

Do not Vaccinate against foot rot. Use Zinc Sulphate in stand-in foot-baths for any lame sheep.

Vaccinating against Enzootic Abortion and Toxoplasmosis should only be done alongside sound management techniques to reduce the risk.
 

twizzel

Member
Heptavac, Toxovax and Enzovax here. Small closed flock too. After getting all my ewes onto toxo and enzovax last year, I’m going to do shearlings and ewe lambs this year, then won’t waste vaccine and won’t have to do any next year. Then year after do shearlings and ewe lambs again.

Do have a bit of orf but buckets and salt keep it under control in lambs, and the ewes seem to have immunity to it.

Vaccines are definitely an insurance policy... some diseases can devastate a naive flock or herd.
 

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In conversation with a soil health pioneer

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