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Victoria worms, flies and lice update - November 2020

VIC WormBoss Worm Control Programs

VIC WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats

Lexie Leonard, Livestock Logic (l.leonard@livestocklogic.com.au)

  • All lambs receive a drench at weaning (ideally triple-active)
  • All sheep (including rams) brought onto properties receive a quarantine drench (four active ingredients, including either monepantel or derquantel)
  • Start planning your summer drenching strategy now

Weaning time for the majority of lambs around Hamilton is in full swing, and now is the time to take advantage of high-quality feed while it is still around. We are starting to see an increase in lamb mobs requiring drenching as they are being weaned, especially on properties where ewes have not been worm egg count (WEC) tested in several months. Great nutrition over spring has meant higher-than-normal worm burdens may not have been visually picked up in either lambs or ewes, and pastures may be more contaminated than normal. This can present a challenge to recently weaned lambs, and frequent WEC and visual monitoring is recommended. Trade lambs from other states and areas of Victoria also present a greater challenge for management, as time off feed and water, transport and social stress decrease immunity. These mobs can often succumb to worm and coccidia burdens rapidly (<10 days), and we recommend they are drenched onto your property then monitored closely. For properties where weaner paddocks have not been prepared and pasture worm challenge is an expected issue, there are a few techniques you can use to help minimise worm burdens prior to weaning.

The time for a Summer Drench Plan is rapidly approaching along with Christmas. Timing of summer drenching is critical to receive the maximum benefit from your strategic drenching. WEC of the mob allows precise timing of summer drenching. If done correctly this will reduce the need for a second summer drench, decrease pasture contamination for next autumn, and minimise any production loss. WEC results coupled with visual assessment of faeces gives us the best indication of when it is time to drench.

High egg counts in mobs need action immediately, while low egg count mobs do not need drenching. They will not have any production loss and will not be causing significant contamination of pastures over summer. Moderate egg counts need a drench, but the timing is critical to get maximum effect and benefit.

Drench too early (loose faeces and moisture in pasture) and you increase the need for a second summer drench, as there will be larval pickup post-drenching. Drench too late (well into summer) and you allow for significant numbers of worm eggs to survive over summer in pelleted faeces. This will form the majority of your pasture contamination in the autumn.  

For properties north of Hamilton where pasture is beginning to dry off, monitoring should start now to ensure timing of drench is effective. Properties south of Hamilton, or where there has been recent rain, will find drenching may not be required for another month. Weaner mobs will continue to require frequent monitoring over summer.

For November 2020 state outlooks, please follow the links below:
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