< Back to Outlooks Listing

Queensland worms, flies and lice update - July 2017

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

As I am sitting here looking for inspiration, there is a heavy frost on the ground and it is much too cold to start pregnancy testing the few cows that I yarded overnight. What does this mean? I am much softer than I used to be and barber’s pole activity should have slowed right down with no eggs hatching during the colder months. Interestingly the cold will not be affecting existing larvae on pasture.

A client asked me the other day about the risk of sheep lice on Dorpers for his Merino flock. Basically, pure Dorpers will carry sheep lice but the fleeces and skins of some of these new breeds are quite different from those of a Merino, so perhaps the new breeds are poor hosts for lice and the transfer of lice from Dorpers to Merinos if run together may be quite low. The goat story for lice is similar.    

(Editor’s note: in Australia goats have their own type of lice that are specific to goats but lice from sheep (Bovicola ovis, formerly Damalinia ovis) have been shown in trial work to persist and reproduce on goats. In general, well-fed goats in good general health carry very few lice but individual goats, especially those with long hair, and fibre goats may, during the winter months and under stress from disease or poor nutrition, develop heavier infestations.)