Hi all,

Will seriously welcome your thoughts.

We run 200 ewes in Northumberland. The majority are Texel Cross, most are very texel.

We ran a closed flock until two years ago when we had nearly all tup lambs, very strange. It left us short of replacements and given a bit of a lack of prolificacy we decided to buy in some mule ewes to hybridise the flock a little more again.

This as it turns out, was a bit of a disaster, after years of no foot issues, we now have lots of lameness.

On top of that the tups have not returned to fitness post tupping, we have never had an issue with this before. They look awful.

I used to work for Cox Agri/Allflex and we had a product called Farmers Choice Ovine Conditioner, I got a great deal and was able to buy this at Cost price when it was Cox Agri. We used it regularly on farm, it had lots of vitamin K and I wonder if that is why their feet were so fabulous?

Anyway, we swapped to boluses this year (I left the business) on the recommendation of our vet to try and improve prolificacy.

Tups were slow to tup, they have not returned to condition, we have just started lambing and we have MASSIVE lambs and difficult lambings from day one.

There are so many variables here which don't help. But over the last few years our output has been getting gradually worse, less prolificacy, fantastic lambs, but not enough of them. Now with the foot problems and an awful start to lambing we are not happy sheep farmers.

Talking with our scanner, he mentioned he has known farms become sheep sick, essentially having had sheep on them for too long without a break that they just become incredibly hard work, and difficult to get anything right.

Has anyone come across this? Or are we being miserable, bad sheep farmers who are doing a terrible job?

As an FYI the majority of the business is Free Range Hens, the flock has been reduced to 200 ewes for what we can realistically fit in. We are not enjoying ourselves with the sheep this year at all having been sheep farmers all our lives.

Sorry for the thoroughly depressing post ...