One can only hope for a kinder 2015! No worm problems to speak of in most places, but getting enough rain to keep the worms and the sheep happy would be a relief.
What are the ‘take out’ messages from 2014?
- Never give a tactical drench without an egg count—it could be unnecessary cost and lead to more development of drench resistance.
- Choose drenches very carefully—combinations of effective actives are best. Know which actives are effective on your property.
- Never, ever buy rams that do not have an ASBV (estimated breeding value) for WEC to indicate resistance to worms. No matter what snake oil you hear about ‘breeding true, true to type, etc’.
- Well thought out grazing management is one of the cheapest and most effective worm control practices you can have.
- Remember—barber’s pole worms are hypobiotic, meaning they can ‘hibernate’ in the gut wall during hard times and re-emerge when conditions are more suitable. So if you are one of the lucky ones who got under a good fall or two, keep an eye on things.
I wish all those sheep producers left in sunny Queensland a good 2015, good health and markets, and good reading!
Texas: Noel O'Dempsey, Veterinary Consultant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is cheaper, more effective, requires less labour and helps to protect your available drenches: Worm egg counting and drenching only if necessary OR drenching because they look wormy?