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South Australia worms, flies and lice update - February 2020

SA WormBoss Worm Control Programs

SA WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats


Adelaide: Colin Trengove, Sheep Health Lecturer (UA Roseworthy campus) (trengovet@icloud.com)

The exceptionally dry 2019 culminated in the well-reported bushfires through the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island (KI) during December/January and into February—similar to the eastern States. Welcome, but unseasonal rainfall from the north in the order of 30–70 mm across much of South Australia put an end to the remaining fires on KI. It also brought relatively mild temperatures for the next couple of weeks. There have been no reports or evidence of spikes in worm numbers since the rainfall, but the possibility remains and especially for barber’s pole (Haemonchus contortus) in barber’s pole prone areas.

Recent monitoring has mostly revealed low worm egg counts apart from the odd lamb mob and notably in crossbreds—possibly on better feed grazing close to the ground. Further monitoring is the only practical means to predict the possible development of worm burdens apart from knowledge of the grazing and drenching history.

Significant worm burdens (>100 eggs per gram (epg)) in young and old alike should be addressed to limit worm infestations in winter. The choice of drench will depend on the level and spread of drench resistance in particular flocks, but drenching with at least 2 or 3 chemical actives in a combination is always recommended. For further discussion on this refer to the ParaBoss website, or better still attend the ParaBoss technical workshop at the Beachouse, Glenelg on 10 March. https://www.paraboss.com.au/news/paraboss-workshop-2020.php

A timely reminder of the harsh conditions in recent months that have put livestock under stress due to limited feed and water quality and quantity on offer. This, combined with the expense of supplementary feed, has led to some stock being sold in store to poor condition.  This could be a buying opportunity for those looking for a bargain, but it could also result in the purchase of a problem. Recent accounts of the purchase of lambs in poor condition and subsequent deaths due to coccidia and Salmonella scours, highlights that bargains can be millstones. While we usually associate worms with scouring, it is timely to remember that there is a range of other causes of scours and deaths which are primarily nutritional or stress-based with dire consequences for animal welfare as well as profit.