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Questions

1. What 2 things does a larval culture tell you and how these help you make a drenching decision?

2. Is it possible to breed for flystrike resistance and still improve productivity?

3. Do lice pesticides tend to adhere to the wool fibre or bind with the wool grease?


Answers

1. What 2 things does a larval culture tell you and how these help you make a drenching decision?

A WormTest refers to a ‘Worm Egg Count Test’ or ‘WEC test’; it will identify the number of worm eggs in faeces, which is a good indication of the worm burden of the sheep. Some laboratories can also perform a ‘Larval Culture’ (also called a ‘Larval Differentiation’) to identify the types of worms present and their proportion (the importance of this varies according to your location).

2. Is it possible to breed for flystrike resistance and still improve productivity?

Yes. It is possible to select and breed your flock for increased flystrike resistance by focussing on the traits that increase the risk of breech strike (breech wrinkle and dag, and to a lesser extent breech cover and urine stain) and body strike (fleece rot).

Despite the slightly unfavourable relationship between fleece weight and wrinkle it is possible to maintain or improve productivity and breed plainer sheep at the same time. The industry’s experience in breeding for reduced fibre diameter, whilst increasing fleece weight is evidence that this is possible.

3. Do lice pesticides tend to adhere to the wool fibre or bind with the wool grease?

Most chemicals used to treat external parasites bind to the wool grease rather than the fibre itself. The scouring process removes wool grease and most contaminants at the same time, resulting in contaminated scour effluent and lanolin.

Wool harvesting interval (WHI) (equivalent to wool withholding period) is the period between treatment and when wool can be harvested to satisfy Australian environmental requirements.