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Queensland worms, flies and lice update - December 2018

Texas: Noel O’Dempsey, Sheep Veterinary Consultant (odempseyn@gmail.com)

I am sitting here (Thursday, December 13 2018) hoping for the rain that has been forecast. If it eventuates, the barber’s pole will also be celebrating. Keep a close eye on the worm egg counts (WormTest) in your sheep. To reinforce the point: I tested some hoggets this week ahead of the promised rain, and even though it has been dry, and the hoggets were in good condition and rotated through a few paddocks, the worm egg counts were still sufficiently elevated to drench.

I finally ‘bit the bullet’ this year and decided not to treat for lice off-shears. Why? I don’t think I have had lice in my sheep for a few years, I do not appreciate spending my money if it is not necessary, and I don’t like using any more chemicals than I have to. Given all this, it was still a hard decision to make, but so far so good, and I’ll continue to periodically check for lice.

On another matter: keep an eye out for the Australian Sheep Parasite Survey, which is coming your way in early February. It is in the interest of all sheep producers to take the time to complete this survey. Sharing your knowledge will ensure the best possible outcome for both yourself and the sheep industry as a whole.

All my best for Christmas and New Year


Toowoomba: Peter Lynch, Veterinary Consultant, Livestock Veterinary Services (peterlynch@shwds.com.au)

While large areas of Queensland have had rain in the last few weeks, the major sheep areas have missed out, once again. If you have been lucky enough to receive a couple of ‘inches’, it is highly likely that any worm larvae hiding in sheltered areas will have also rejoiced, and it is possible that your sheep may have suddenly become heavily infected.

Worm egg counts should be conducted early in the New Year. It may also be a good idea to confirm that your egg count laboratory will be open.

We wish a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and wet New Year to everybody.