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Victoria worms, flies and lice update - August 2020

VIC WormBoss Worm Control Programs

VIC WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats

Dr Lexie Leonard
Dr Lexie Leonard

Hamilton: Lexie Leonard, Veterinary Consultant, Livestock Logic (l.leonard@livestocklogic.com.au)

For the end of winter Hamilton has been mostly dry, with well below the average rainfall appearing for the first half of the month. Fingers crossed for the next week of predicted rain, while not desperate it would be a welcome sight to see this great season continue. Worm egg count monitoring is following the predicted pattern for the past month, with wetter areas showing us moderate to high results, and areas north of Hamilton generally lower.

Lamb marking is in full swing, and the majority of sheep we are testing are not needing a drench at lamb marking. Mobs of both crossbreds and Merinos are in the range of 100–200 epg, in good condition and with feed in front of them won’t need drenching at marking, and neither will the lambs. Going forward into spring, as the rain arrives and pastures continue to grow, we would expect many sheep to remain undrenched until summer.

Lambs on mum will get a benefit from a drench around 14 weeks old, and will get even more benefit from weaning and a drench if there are high quality clover paddocks on offer. Drenching all lambs at weaning with a fully-effective drench is ideal, as it removes a big stress factor over weaning. Recently weaned lambs have low immunity to worms, so monitoring every 3–4 weeks is vital to ensure you get ahead of any potential worm problems. Lice and fly worry can also be a major setback to recently weaned lambs (and lambs still on mum), monitor stock in the paddock for signs of biting and pulled wool regularly.

COVID restrictions on shearers and contractors coming into Victoria (or then having to leave Victoria) are expected to cause some issues around crutching and shearing over spring and summer, so planning a flexible fly control program will be very important this year—mainly not relying on chemicals with long wool withholds in case sheep need to be crutched or shorn at short notice. Flexible plans for stock will help producers take full advantage of opportunities over the coming months.

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