Small stock production: Footbath to stop foot rot in sheep and goats

Zeiss Jordaan of the farm Zuurfontein near Cradock in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa farms for extended periods with sheep on 190 ha that is under irrigation.

For this reason, he has quite a problem with foot rot (Dichelobacter nodosus) which is exacerbated by the moisture, as well as foot abscesses caused by ticks. To prevent these problems, it is necessary to dip his sheep regularly or get them to walk through a foot bath. An old drinking trough lying around on the farm was just the solution Zeiss needed to provide preventative treatment for his animals.

The footbath with which Zeiss is battling foot rot in his sheep.

He fitted 2 corrugated iron sheets to the sides of the trough so that the sheep can’t jump out. To prevent them from slipping while walking through the foot bath, he welded together 2 lengths of a small steel ladder and placed this along the bottom of the trough.

Zeiss mixes the dip, which consists of 2 litres of Cypermethrin ( L4069 N-AR 0945, Act 36 of 1947), with 20 litres of motor oil and then pours it onto a piece of old foam mattress that he places in the trough. Zeiss dips all his livestock when they are moved between the different camps from the beginning of October to the end of April.

The foot bath, which is placed at the end of the crush, cost him less than R150 (K110) to make.


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