Dipping is generally compulsory now. The choices at dipping
start with whether you intend to do it yourself or have it done for
There are contractors who will arrive at your flock and do
the whole thing for you. In our area you have to have at least 60
sheep to make this an economic operation; of course you can
always gather a few owners together if you cannot make up that
Sometimes local farmers will let you take your
sheep to be dipped along with theirs in a fixed dipping setup.
Otherwise you must look to your own resources. A fibreglass dip
tank with an organised run makes the whole affair move with
clockwork precision. Putting the sheep one after another by hand
into a tank is heavy work.
From experience we would point out
that getting the wet sheep out of the tank requires superhuman
effort. The sheep must be totally immersed but they must not be
overstressed. Quite often it is a useful thing to have at least one
more pair of hands than you expect to need at a time like this.
Sheep also require maintenance of their feet and tail areas. The
feet must be carefully trimmed and kept in good condition to
avoid foot rot.
The area around the tail should be kept trimmed
and clean from wet droppings or you may find yourself with an
attack of strike. Flies lay eggs in the matted wool, these hatch and
the maggots start to eat the sheep. It sounds revolting and is.
Prevention is far better than cure.