Importance of health management:
Animals that are unhealthy raise fewer lambs and simply cost more to have on the farm. By being proactive about animal health, producers will put more money into their bank accounts instead of into problem animals. Alberta Lamb Producers provides the following resources to assist producers in making basic health and management decisions for their flock. We also recommend that producers maintain a Veterinary-Client Relationship, to faciliate diagnosis of specific concerns and to establish an effective flock health program.
Sheep Health Manuals:
These manuals provide information on setting up flock health programs and details on specific sheep diseases. To find information on limiting introduction and spread of diseases on your farm, visit the Biosecurity page. Remember you can always use the 'Search' option at the top right hand corner of the home page to find information on specific topics or diseases.
- Feedlot Lamb Pathology Atlas: This atlas contains reference photographs of both gross pathology and histopathology (microscopic) lesions to help both veterinarians and producers identify disease conditions in lamb production.
- Sheep and Goat Management in Alberta: Health (ALP Management Module): This module gives a thorough overview of the importance of controlling disease, how diseases are spread, preventative measures and information about specific disaeases.
- The Western Canadian Flock Health Program (WCFHP): Although the WCFHP is not currently running as an organized program, the program binder remains a valuable source of information on sheep health.
Also visit the 'Factsheet' page of this website to download information on specific conditions.
Body Condition Scoring:
Routinely checking the body condition score of your sheep will help monitor their health and welfare status. Maintaining sheep at an appropriate condition will also optimize flock productivity and feed effeciency.
What's the Score: Sheep (Alberta Agriculture and Forestry)
Body Condition Scoring (2 page barn sheet based on 'What's the Score: Sheep')
Ewe Body Condition Scoring Handbook (Beef and Lamb New Zealand: stresses importance of condition scoring and provides target scores)
Videos on ALP YouTube channel, Sheep Central Alberta:
Information on specific diseases:
- Scrapie (Link to information and the National Scrapie program)
- Malignant Catarrhal Fever (transmission between sheep and bison)
- Mastitis in Ewes (ALP fact sheet)
- Schmallenberg Virus (brochure)
- Foot Rot (Australian fact sheet, includes scoring guide)
- Zoonotic diseases (presentation at the zone 7 ALP fall meeting 2015)