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Queensland worms, flies and lice update - October 2019

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

Some people have been lucky enough to get a little rain. Barber’s pole is in the business of surviving, so despite how long it has been dry there will still be enough worms around to get the ball rolling again, once we get more rain. While barber’s pole numbers for most people will initially build up slowly, keep ahead of the game and don’t get caught out, and do regular worm egg counts (WECs).

Earlier in the year, I reported that I had made the decision not to treat for lice at the previous shearing and promised to report back with what happened. Everything worked out well with no sign of lice at this shearing where again I did not treat except for the rams and weaners. With the drought, a lot of sheep are on the move looking for a feed—I have returned one sheep from at least 30 km (and many fences) away. These stragglers are a worry, but I am removing and returning them as soon as they are seen. What will be the real test, is when I restock, as at least 25% of mobs will be lice-affected even though they may show no signs.

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

Most of the Queensland sheep areas remain dry and are severely drought-affected. There have been a few showers recently in eastern districts.

Although it has warmed up, many areas are still cool enough for hatched larvae to survive for at least a few days. If you were lucky enough to have had enough rain to change the colour of your dry paddocks, if only in the creek flats, you should be doing worm egg counts four weeks after the rain.

We continue to pray that everyone will get good rain soon.