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Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - July 2018

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats


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

“In God’s good time, down came the rain” (Said Hanrahan, by John O’Brien): I left Tasmania in late June with most areas ok-ish, but hardly wet. Three weeks later the rivers are full and water is laying around in the paddocks.  If all it takes for a dry spell to end is for me to go away for a while I am happy to oblige (with sponsorship). I suspect most areas have had enough rain to kick spring off.  The soil thermometer is at about 8.5°C, which is not desperately low and should allow slow pasture growth. All good.

Waterlogged paddocks portend black scour worm. In a previous missive I suggested that egg counts in Merino weaners were on the up and up and paddocks contaminated by these sheep would be winter worm traps. QED, with surface water being icing on the worm sausage roll. Some clients with good monitoring and worm control have opted to use a long acting (LA) product for Merino weaners and ewes that will lamb down on paddocks grazed by weaners in the last three months. Merino producers should assemble their information, but give serious consideration to using a LA product. I rarely make such a recommendation. Clients’ XB ewes are fat and have pasture going forward, so short-acting products will suffice.

Last month’s mention of organic production raised some comment, mostly from other vets that have seen disasters on organic farms in high rainfall zones. One slightly annoyed organic producer wanted to point out the benefits of garlic and apple cider vinegar. All I can say is that I’ve not seen information that supports substantial therapeutic benefit from the combination (but resistance is unlikely).

Readers will know that I regard goats as children of a lesser God. In Timor it’s the opposite with goats (bibi) being highly regarded and sheep (bibi-malai, literally translated as foreign goats) less than lauded.


Bibi-malai
Bibi-malai

Given its tropical climate, you may wonder about the sheep and goats’ susceptibility to worms: a quick visit to Elders in Dili did not show any mectin drenches.  Well, the picture of the bibi-malai was taken in a back yard: no grazing there. And much of Timor’s landscape is bare hills with a range of trees. No grazing there, either, just browse.  Herewith, another picture of a worm solution: an owner transporting cut browse for his animals.


Simple epidemiological principle:  Separate the animals from the source of infection and you will remain worm free.

[Editor’s note: Exactly what Dr Sandra Baxendell (one of the ParaBoss authors for our goat information) advises in the WormBoss page: Pasture and browse for worm control in goats.]