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Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - August 2020

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats

Perth: Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health (pandonilon@bigpond.com)

Widespread snow and rain the first week in August has set the stage for spring. In the interim, it’s a matter of whether graziers can get onto paddocks to husband lambing ewes and feed out where necessary.

Worm wise, all is quiet. Pre-lambing drench decisions have been made. Nutrition is good. Sit back and enjoy the frosts. The big planning decision is where to wean Merino lambs. As far as is reasonably possible, select the weaning paddocks now and keep sheep off them during the spring. Remember that the critical thing is the spelling time, not the vacuuming effect. Therefore, you can use a combination of destocking, grazing with cattle and fodder conservation. Just keep sheep off the weaning paddocks.

Prime lambs are different. They go onto fodder crop or legume circles that have usually been spelled anyway. The exceptions are 2nd year short-rotation rye grass paddocks and perennial pastures under pivots. These can be dynamite and should also be prepared as above.

Tail Length: Few if any lambs have been marked yet, so it’s timely to raise this again. I am beastly careless about tail length in finishing lambs, but equally getting quite militant about the inadequate tail length on many, indeed most, mobs of ewes. If you can see vulvas, they are too short. It is that simple. When you drive around the countryside, you see more vulvas than on MONA’s famous wall. Not good. When dealing with clients, I ask them if their breeding objective includes replacing the anus and vulva with a cloaca. Sarcasm makes me feel better, but produces few results.

So here’s my sure-fire way to get the right tail length:

  1. Insist that a male is on the gas axe or putting rings on.
  2. Tell said operator that the tail length should be at least as long as his pecker.
  3. Tell said operator that short tails will be posted on Facebook.
  4. I guarantee tails will be half way to the hocks.
These modest ewes are keeping their vulvas well-covered. Image; Deb Maxwell
These modest ewes are keeping their vulvas well-covered. Image; Deb Maxwell
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