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Victoria worms, flies and lice update - October 2017

Hamilton: Andrew Whale, Livestock Logic (a.whale@livestocklogic.com.au)

Livestock Logic recommends that:

  • Stock should be worm tested in November

Livestock Logic advises that:

  • Egg counts in general are quite high across the region
  • Feed is great, but don’t be fooled by the long grass (enabling sheep to graze above the worm larvae) as worms can still take hold and affect production at this time of year

Wonderful conditions are still being experienced in the south west of the state. There is plenty of moisture, and the warmer weather over the past few weeks is really getting the pastures moving. We would expect to see some fly activity in the coming weeks and would urge producers to consider preventative measures for livestock for November.

Stock health in the region is fantastic, but again we would encourage producers to be aware that sub-clinical losses in weight gain can often occur in sheep that are carrying significant worm burdens over late spring. November is an extremely important month to remember to worm egg count (WormTest) your stock and take action on the egg counts keeping the following in mind:

  • High egg counts—Must be dealt with immediately to ensure good growth rates throughout the spring
  • Moderate egg counts—Delay drenching until the pasture dries off in late November/December, or potentially January (the timing of this will depend on the climate/season). Moderate counts are considered to be 200–300eggs per gram (epg) in young stock and up to 500 epg in older stock.
  • Low egg counts—Re-test in 3–6 weeks (depending on age) to determine if a summer drench is required

The chart below shows how much higher worm egg counts are in 2017 compared to 2016, a reminder that sheep will need monitoring, frequently.