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Victoria worms, flies and lice update - September 2018

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

Livestock Logic Recommendations

  • Monitor this year’s and last year’s drop of lambs closely, and also light conditioned ewes
  • Egg counts in mature age ewes have increased dramatically in September and this typically goes unnoticed in flocks that are not monitoring worm egg count burdens

The conditions in the south west of Victoria have dried up substantially in the last four weeks. We are yet to have any hot weather, which is a relief, but as a result pastures have not yet taken off in terms of growth rate. While we have had a terrific season to date (especially in comparison to almost the rest of the eastern side of Australia) it would be great to get some further rain to finish the year off.

As with the previous month’s recommendations, it is particularly important for producers to monitor stock worm levels in the spring as too often we think stock are healthy because they are on terrific quality and quantity of pastures, but worm burdens greatly reduce the rate of weight gain. If we fail to capitalise on spring growth then it costs us substantially in supplementary feeding in the summer, or in conception rates. The only way to know the worm burdens of your flock is to do a worm egg count.

Young stock should be at the top of the list for egg counting over the spring, but our recent laboratory results show a considerable spike in mature ewe worm egg counts as depicted by the statistics (graph below) from the Livestock Logic worm laboratory. There has been a dramatic increase in September in the percent (%) of ewes that have been recommended to be drenched.

Another reminder for producers in regards to managing drench resistance!!

Remember to have an effective quarantine drench for ram purchases, and also ewe or lamb purchases. Four drench actives is the recommendation, which must include at least one of the newer actives monepantel (Zolvix®) or derquantel (Startect®).