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Victoria worms, flies and lice update - June 2021

VIC WormBoss Worm Control Programs

VIC WormBoss Drench Decision Guides

Sheep

Goats

Sheep

Goats

Hamilton: Andrew Whale, Livestock Logic (a.whale@livestocklogic.com.au) and Lexie Leonard, Livestock Logic (l.leonard@livestocklogic.com.au)

After a dry start to Autumn the rain has been more abundant in recent weeks. Wet weather and short pastures increase worm issues, as the availability of larvae on pasture will have been increasing since the end of May. WECs overall have generally been increasing since the end of Autumn, and for June have increased dramatically on last year. This is likely a hangover from the prolonged spring condition earlier in the year which saw pasture worm burdens persists until March in most areas. High pasture contamination allows worm burdens to build up much more rapidly in sheep, especially in weaners and ewes lambing. As always, continual monitoring is advising over the winter periods, but especially this winter. 

Properties using long-acting drenches (either injectables or capsules) should WEC test their mobs towards the end of the action period to ensure the drenches are remaining effective. 

Although we have seen an increase overall in WECs and drenching requirements, this is often property dependant. Properties that have a sound drenching programme have mainly had no increase in drenching requirements compared to previous years.  One interesting trend we have seen is that pre-lambing drenching has not made a significant impact on the need to drench at lamb-marking, which puts another emphasis on the need to WEC prior lambing to see if a drench is needed or not.

Lambs at marking very rarely require drenching. WEC combined with a pasture assessment and lambs age will indicate whether or not a drench is indicated or not. Lambs will get most benefit from a drench once they are 14–16 weeks old, if they are grazing contaminated pastures. Prior to this, lambs are generally not grazing enough to pick up a worm burden.  If you do decide to drench lambs that are marking, ensure the drench you are using is registered for the appropriate age and weight of your lambs, as some drenches can be toxic to young lambs.

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