We've been working to eliminate footrot from our flock for several years. Over the last 12 months, we've made progress through combination of foot baths, vaccinations, trimming, and genetic improvement. As we've noted earlier, we lost one of these tools when FootVax, the vaccine we've been using, was discontinued. This will force us to rely more heavily on our remaining tools.
A key to our future management of footrot will be the regular use of a foot bath. With the numbers of sheep that we currently manage, and the fact that we move our animals between properties frequently, this becomes a challenge. With our current set up (a 4x8 footbath), we would need 5-7 days just to soak every ewe for 45 minutes.
After racking my tiny brain, I think I may have found a solution. My dad gave me a utility trailer that his dad had built in the 1950's. We used it extensively in our family's auction business. Over the next week, we'll be outfitting it to serve as our portable foot bath. The trailer will allow us to soak 30-40 ewes at a time, which will allow us to treat all of the sheep in a single day. Stay tuned for more information!