An online lameness recording system for sheep farmers

Fund

Norman Hayward Fund

Grant

£57,882

Research Period

2016

Area of study

Sheep

Description

Investigator(s): Professor Laura Green, Jessica Gaudy

Following the previously funded study ‘Development of a validated lameness control plan for sheep flocks’ Professor Laura Green/Jessica Gaudy identified that farmers who maintained accurate treatment records were far better at controlling lameness than those who didn’t, as these records helped them to plan and make more strategic management decisions. This prompted the development of a prototype smartphone app. The aim of this project was to develop the app further in the hope that it would be rolled out to farmers who would use it to take appropriate action against lameness in their flocks.

The app was refined so that it was easier to navigate and made more fit for purpose. App users would be able to record lameness treatments and would receive suggestions for alternative treatment if the treatment they recorded was considered inappropriate. Furthermore, the data collected via the app could be generated into reports and allow the farmer to monitor trends over time and compare against other flocks in the UK. Whilst the app and report templates have received positive feedback from farmers involved in the project, the app has not been taken any further until surrounding data security issues have been resolved. The investigators are currently exploring opportunities to overcome these issues.

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