Alberta producers are being asked to participate in a study to identify lameness issues in sheep flocks.
Canadian sheep and lamb producers consider lameness a serious health and welfare issue, resulting in high cull rates of breeding stock, slower growth rates in feeder lambs, and high treatment costs. The main objectives of this research are to determine the occurrence of lameness in feedlot lambs and ewe flocks in Alberta, characterize the types of lameness observed, identify causative agents associated with lameness, and document the transmission rates of the most prevalent causes of infectious lameness in feedlot sheep, so that successful mitigation strategies and best practices may be developed.
Research Team members include:
Dr. Wiolene Montanari Nordi: Welfare/Livestock Production Scientist
Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein: Livestock welfare and physiology expert extensive experience in stress and pain assessment in livestock
Dr. Dörte Döpfer: Veterinarian/microbiologist and expert in ruminant lameness, extensive experience in lameness assessment in feedlot/flock settings
Dr. Sonia Marti: Welfare/Livestock Production Scientist - recently completed feedlot cattle lameness study
Dr. Joyce Van Donkersgoed: Veterinarian for the lamb feedlot
Dr. Kathy Parker: Veterinarian/producer with extensive expertise in sheep health and production
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, pen or pasture conditions (wet or dry).
Forms will be provided to facilitate recording and reporting cases of lameness. Click to view example.