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Queensland worm update - December 2013

Arthur Le Feuvre, Warwick (arthur@vetspets.com.au)

With most of Queensland still looking for rain, worm issues are not much of a problem for the bulk of the Queensland flock.  This does not imply that you will have no worries if decent rain falls over the Dec/Jan period.

Always keep in mind that Barber's pole worms are hypobiotic, meaning they can arrest their development at the larval stage and hang around in the gut wall until they detect rain in the form of green feed in the animal.  This is the reason that they are almost always present in far western regions, even in a screaming drought.  Provide a lot of rain, sheep not moving into long feed and – well you know the rest – dead sheep.

Start testing 4 – 6 weeks after good rain to see if there is any action pending.

In the eastern regions where there has been useful rain, Barbers pole is active and if management is not up to scratch there will be drenching instead of cold drinks and Christmas pud.

I wish you all a wet, grassy Christmas and New Year and see you all in January!