Flock Health Checklist
Monitoring Flock Performance
Keeping records, setting targets and measuring performance allows you to look back on your flock production year and identify areas which were not up to scratch.
If you don’t know where you’ve been going wrong, how can you fix it?
You can find an introduction to some of the sections covered in Monitoring Flock Performance below.
Do you know your rearing percentage? It could make a real difference to your income!
Calculating these figures requires good records of where lambs are lost.
MSD Animal Health also have a Lambing Record available, which can assist with keeping a tally of lambs born alive vs. lambs born dead or aborted. Preview or download this below.
Knowing number of lambs sold / ewe put to the ram is a crucial starting point in calculating lamb-derived income.
Disease Cost and Control
Endemic disease is a huge barrier to flock profitability
The annual cost to UK farmers of gastrointestinal nematodes (worms) has been calculated at £84 million1.
Complete your own Flock Health Checklist to recognise whether you can make improvements to disease cost and control on your farm.
Work by RUMA2 has identified unnecessary and routine use of antibiotics in sheep flocks, such as relying on injectable oxytetracycline to control enzootic abortion.
Tackling these behaviours will have a major impact on total antibiotic usage.
Learn more about the benefits of responsible antibiotic usage in the Flock Health Checklist.
The industry target is a reduction of total antibiotic usage in the UK flock by 10% each year3.
Your vet or flock health advisor is a useful tool for ‘horizon-scanning’ for new diseases, new vaccines and new management ideas.
Make sure you make the most of this resource by enlisting them to help you create your flock health plan, and review it at least yearly!
The MSD Animal Flock Performance Indicator
The MSD Flock Performance Indicator (FPI) is a separate spreadsheet-based tool which is designed for vets and farmers to assess flock performance.
It can be used alongside the Flock Health Checklist to create an action plan to improve the farm’s production figures.
Contact your vet for more information.
Complete your own Flock Health Checklist by contacting your vet today!
1. Nieuwhof GJ, Bishop SC (2005). Costs of the major endemic diseases of sheep in Great Britain and the potential benefits of reduction in disease impact. Animal Science, 81, 23-29
3. RUMA targets task force https://www.ruma.org.uk/targets-task-force-2021-2024/targets-2017-2020/