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Australia's resource for control of worms, flies and lice in sheep,
and worms in goats

Fast Fact

Jewel wasp turns cockroaches into zombies

In a simple bid to feed her brood, female Jewel wasps remove a cockroach’s fear and turn it into a zombie by controlling its mind with venom. The stung cockroach then cleans itself for about 30 minutes while the wasp creates a little burrow to which she then leads the willing cockroach by pulling it by the antennae. She then lays one or two eggs, who on hatching in the enclosed burrow, parasitise the cockroach.

Feature articles

Are you ready to DrenchTest?

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

Alan and Kim Newton, Emmaville, NSW, make much better drench choice decisions since they’ve done a Drench Resistance test through an MLA-funded Producer Demonstration site project.
Kim said, “We found it fairly easy to do though it does take a bit of time, but the results were very useful as we now know quite a few drenches are not as effective as we had hoped.”

Alan said, “We hadn’t done a comprehensive test like this before because we didn’t know what was involved and didn’t realise what it could tell us; we’ll be doing another one soon to see how our remaining drenches are going.”  >> Read Alan and Kim’s story.

Australian Sheep Parasite Management Survey 2019—Flystrike results

by Alison Colvin, UNE

The survey, conducted by UNE and funded by AWI, reviewed current flystrike management practices and compared them to results of similar 2011 and 2003 surveys. Key findings from the Australian flock included:

Increased use of genetic selection against strike risk, predominantly through more visual culling, but also more use of breeding values for strike indicators.

Decreased use of mulesing.

Greatly increased use of pain relief products at marking.

Marked increase in both visits to FlyBoss and using its information to make changes to flystrike control practices. >> Read the Flystrike results.

Why would you treat shedding/hair breeds of sheep for lice?

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

Some sparks flew when the topic of lice on shedding sheep came up at discussion between a few farmers. One fellow, a cattle producer, had recently taken on a mob of dorpers and didn’t see why he’d bother treating when the few lice (yes they did have some) were making no difference, but his friend said “just as well I’m not your neighbour then”. The dorper fellow hadn’t really considered the risk to neighbouring Merinos.

While shedding sheep are considered poor hosts for lice, they can carry them and be a potential for spread to Merinos on the same or neighbouring farms. Also, there are some challenges treating them due to their different fleece/hair coat. >> Read more.

Condition scoring goats: one tool in the worm control toolbox

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

First up, poorer condition can result from many causes—it’s not specific to worms. That said, it’s still one way to keep an eye on worms in small herds of goats. Scour worms result in lowered intake and either lost weight or less than expected weight gain.

Smallholders can learn to condition score their goats from some good videos and if done monthly, loss of condition (considered against the available feed) can indicate whether a drench is required. The WormBoss Australian Smallholders worm control program for goats has more detail and links to videos. >> Read more.

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Jewel Wasp. Source: Copyright Andreas Kay
Drench Testing by other project cooperators, Elizabeth Jackson and Mitchell Hope
Flystrike management survey results are in. Image: Copyright Graham Wise.
Try goat condition scoring. Image Copyright UC Davis Vet Med.
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