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

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Just look for a low negative WEC ASBV
Just look for a low negative WEC ASBV
Are the flies resistant?
Are the flies resistant?
How long before the mobs can be boxed?
How long before the mobs can be boxed?
Conjunctiva colour indicates anaemia from barber's pole worm
Conjunctiva colour indicates anaemia from barber's pole worm
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ParaBoss WEC QA Program - rego opens soon
ParaBoss WEC QA Program - rego opens soon

Fast Fact

Could “worm therapy” cure your ills?

Humans and animals have evolved along with their worms and other parasites. Once we became germ-phobic and got rid of parasites, the incidence of various diseases—in particular, auto-immune conditions—increased. Researchers have already shown that for some worm-free animals and humans, re-infecting them has had positive benefits on their health. 

Feature articles

Sheep resistant to worms can produce more and need less drenching

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

For the spring ram buyers, have you considered breeding for worm resistance? It’s such an easy thing to do. You do need to buy from a breeder that has ASBVs—and of course they are useful for many traits.

1. Make a start by shortlisting rams with WEC ASBVs lower or more negative than zero.

2. With these shortlisted rams, check out the other traits that are important to you, e.g. fleece weight or wool style, and narrow your shortlist with these.

3. Where two rams are fairly similar in your estimation for the overall combination of other traits important to you, try to buy the one with the best (most negative) WEC ASBV.

The more negative the WEC ASBV, the less worms a sheep carries compared to sheep with a higher or more positive WEC ASBV, for instance a sheep of -50% WEC ASBV would (under the same conditions) carry about 50% less worms than a sheep with an ASBV of 0, but one that is +50% would have 50% more worms than one with 0.  >> Read more.

 

Maybe it’s not your flystrike preventative chemical letting you down

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

Three different producers contacted ParaBoss over the last few months with concerns that their flystrike chemicals may not be working so well, as they had some strike when they thought the chemical should still be working. With spring around the corner, all were asking similar questions about what chemical to use this season.

Firstly, there is no commercial test to identify the level of resistance on your property.

Secondly, many apparent “chemical failures” turn out to be about something other than the product—it could be due to you/your staff (incomplete musters, application method, etc.), or a wetter season than normal.

Thirdly, most flies on your place are your own (certainly on moderate to large properties)—if they are resistant, it’s likely because of your practices, not the neighbours’.

My advice to all of these enquirers was the same, and it applies whether you think you have a chemical resistance problem yet or not:

1. Stop relying solely on chemicals. Use every other strategy against flystrike that you can. In particular, breed strike-resistant sheep for permanent improvement.

2. Rotate chemicals. You might still use the same main preventative for your once-a-year prevention, but avoid using the same chemical group to then also treat struck sheep, or for a second preventative in the season, or for your lice control (some lice treatments are the same chemical group as fly treatments).

3. From now on be far more vigilant with chemical applications. Read the labels. Ensure staff are appropriately trained. Apply the chemical correctly. Keep accurate records so that follow-up assessment of success or failure can be meaningfully done.

4. Have realistic expectations in your season’s weather. Heavy rain on any chemical, even after it has dried, will decrease its length of protection. Note that many products state “up to x weeks protection” for this very reason.  >> Read more.

 

How fast does a lice treatment work?

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

You’ve bought new sheep or brought some back from agistment, you’ve quarantined them and then you’ve treated them because, or in case, they had lice. When can you box them with your lice-free sheep?

Importantly, don’t believe that backline “knockdown treatments” kill lice overnight, even in a week! Knockdown refers to how fast the lice die after contact with the chemical—but it takes weeks for a backline product to gradually spread through the fleece and contact the furthest flung lice on the sheep.

The only true knockdown treatments are dips that wet the sheep all over at the same time. If you use a dip, wait 24 hours before boxing them with a clean mob.

If you use a backline, firstly, the chemical needs to spread across the sheep. Allow a minimum of 3, but preferably 6, weeks (read the particular product label). But if you use a product containing diflubenzuron or triflumuron (IGRs), you’ll be in for a much longer wait because they only kill younger developing lice by affecting the moulting process. You still have to wait for adult lice to die from old age, which will be many more weeks‚ and these two are poor chemicals for eradication as resistance to them is already widespread.  >> Read more.

 

Spring > rain > worms—a logical progression with goats

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Executive Officer

Are your goats on the coastal strip and/or get watered paddocks or access to a lawn? These all add up to worm problems. If grass grows, so do worms. In particular, warm weather and grass growth equals barber’s pole worm (Haemonchus contortus). If you have small numbers of goats—say, up to 20—become familiar with the Australian Smallholder worm control program. Learn how to examine the conjunctiva of the eye to look for anaemia, and learn condition or fat scoring to see how your goat’s weight is changing. Both of these, when used in context, are reasonable indicators of worm burdens.  >> Read more.

2020 ParaBoss WEC QA Program

Another round of the ParaBoss WEC QA program is set to occur in October this year. >> more details.

All individuals and labs that offer free or paid WEC tests should participate to demonstrate that they can indeed perform accurate tests because 30% of participants did not achieve the required accuracy last year. Producers are encouraged to use providers who have proven their proficiency and are listed on the WormBoss Service Providers List.