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Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - May 2017

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats


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

As with last month the egg counts are still creeping up in nearly all classes of young stock, while adult dry/early pregnant ewes are generally robust, indeed their egg counts are pleasingly low. Driving round it seems that lambs under the pivots have lost their bloom and many have signs of dag. Hardly enough to initiate drenching, but owners should be acutely aware that increasing worm burdens can really knock the edge off growth rates on pastures and crops where they should be doing well. This has all sorts of consequences, not the least being that the slow finishing lambs are denying ewes access to better pastures and poxing the ground to the eyeballs in the process. A good lamb is an early-finished lamb.  At the very least get a WormTest (Worm Egg Count) done to help make a decision.

It’s timely to mention some of our upland brethren: those that have sheep all year round on the central plateau, and some who run sheep in the semi-improved country on the shoulders of the plateau. These runs are renowned for producing clean fine wool and are generally regarded as being worm free.  This is a bit of an overstatement. While the bush and semi-improved runs are hostile to worms, the concentration of sheep round watering points and some sweet spots for grazing give some opportunity for transmission. Moreover, bush wethers live a tight existence and so their body condition rarely helps them resist worms. While many of these bush sheep receive only 1 drench a year (at shearing in the late spring) it’s worthwhile considering a pre-winter drench to help them through the hard times. Two important comments:  firstly, many of these sheep are treated with older drenches (white and clear).  It would be unlikely that either drench still works all that well, so it’s time to let the moths out of the wallet and get something more recent. Secondly, many of these bush runs sustain fluke in springs and creek headwaters. A pre-winter fluke drench is very important.