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Questions

1. Weaners in southern Australia benefit from prepared low worm-risk paddocks during winter. How could they have been prepared?

2. How could you use a threshold method as a means to indicate when flystrike preventative products should be applied?

3. What should you do if you suspect that lice are resistant to the products you are using?

4. How can smallholder goat owners assess whether goats require a drench against scour worms?


Answers

(click on the questions below to go to more detailed information)

1. Weaners in southern Australia benefit from prepared low worm-risk paddocks during winter. How could they have been prepared?

Prepare these by the ‘Smart grazing’ method:

The paddock(s) that will be used by weaners after the autumn break should previously only be grazed by sheep that have received an effective summer drench, or adult cattle (over 12 months old). To minimise contamination with worm eggs graze only for 30 days after each drench is given.

A similar stocking rate to continuous stocking will be achieved by stocking at 2½–3 times your normal stocking rate.

If there is excess feed, the summer drenches can be 'staggered' for different mobs so as to provide a longer intensive grazing period, as removing excess feed enhances the kill of worm larvae with summer heat.

Give the weaners an effective drench before they enter the 'Smart grazed' paddock after the autumn break. 

2. How could you use a threshold method as a means to indicate when flystrike preventative products should be applied?

Once about 0.5% of sheep (1 sheep in 200) are struck in any one week it is almost always most economical to treat the whole mob with a preventative treatment, as the costs of labour for monitoring and treating individuals are very high, as are the costs from deaths and severely struck sheep.

However, you should treat earlier, at a lower strike threshold, if you or your staff cannot check frequently enough to detect and treat struck sheep before the strike is advanced.

3. What should you do if you suspect that lice are resistant to the products you are using?

  • If you think that resistance may have caused a control break down, carry out a complete review of your lice control program, including the treatment method used and the biosecurity program. The Treatments Tool and Short Wool Tool in LiceBoss Tools can assist with this.
  • If no other reason for the breakdown can be found, then resistance is a possibility.
  • If a long wool treatment is being contemplated, consult the LiceBoss Long Wool Tool to determine whether it is economically justified and which chemicals can be used.
  • If applying a long wool treatment, use a product from a different chemical group to the last treatment used on this mob.
  • If a long wool treatment is used, it will not eradicate lice; all sheep will need to be treated after their next shearing. Use a chemical from a different group for the post-shearing treatment.
  • If problems continue to arise and no reason can be identified, seek professional advice.

4. How can smallholder goat owners assess whether goats require a drench against scour worms?

Body weight and condition score are useful indicators of scour worm infection.

Regular weighing or condition scoring of animals, preferably on an individual basis, can detect weight loss. Weight loss can result from causes other than worms, in particular, a decline in pasture quality, quantity or both. Increased nutritional requirements during early lactation can also cause weight and condition loss.

Condition scoring of goats is differs slightly between dairy goats and fibre/meat goat breeds. (follow the question link for more information).

Scouring is also an indicator of scour worms, but can be due to other causes.