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Questions

1. Name 2 situations when you would drench sheep without a WormTest.

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

3. Under what situation is resistance to lice treatments most likely?

4. Name other parasites, other than roundworms, that can cause scouring in goats.


Coccidia, Cryptosporidium and Giardia can also cause scouring in goats
Coccidia, Cryptosporidium and Giardia can also cause scouring in goats

Answers

1. Name 2 situations when you would drench sheep without a WormTest?

A) When giving a quarantine drench.

B) When giving a strategic drench. The timing of strategic drenches depends on the region and the class of sheep, as their use is closely associated with times when sheep are most susceptible to worms or when development of eggs to infective larvae on pasture is likely to be extremely low (to reduce pasture contamination) or high (to pre-empt likely immediate problems). Strategic drenches are given regardless of the average worm egg count of the mob.

There are six common strategic drenches; not all are used in every region. The WormBoss programs outline which strategic drenches to use in each region.

  • Pre-lambing ewes
  • Lambs being weaned
  • Winter weaners going into low worm-risk paddocks
  • Smart grazing
  • Summer drenches—temperate winter rainfall regions
  • Summer-autumn drenches—Mediterranean climatic regions

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 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. Under what situation is resistance to lice treatments most likely?

If lice are not eliminated from a flock, it is unwise to use the same product group to treat the sheep in the next year. Most resistance occurs where the same product group is used repeatedly for a number of years. If treatment is necessary every year, then rotate product groups to reduce the likelihood of resistance development. If resistance is a problem and alternative backline product groups are not available, dipping may be necessary, as it achieves a better distribution of chemical over the sheep.

4. Name other parasites, other than roundworms, that can cause scouring in goats.

Coccidia (Eimeria spp), Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Coccidia are microscopic parasites known as protozoa that develop in the intestinal tract of goats. Several species of Eimeria affect goats and are usually acquired in the first few months of life and small numbers are carried by most young animals, usually causing no ill-effects. However, with stress and overcrowding, particularly under damp unhygienic conditions, disease may occur. Affected animals scour (brown, liquid and foul smelling), have characteristic hollow flanks and hunched appearance, and are depressed. Deaths occur in severe cases. Coccidiosis in young animals is usually associated with very cold conditions and poor pasture nutrition resulting in a reduced milk supply from the doe, and forcing the kids to graze close to the ground.

Infection with Cryptosporidium and Giardia are relatively common in goats, but scouring as a consequence is far less common than for coccidiosis, and occurs mostly in animals up to a week old resulting in a reduction in body weights. In goat kids, particularly neonates (in their first two weeks), but also up until weaning, ‘crypto’ can cause a severe infectious gastroenteritis, especially if they are housed under moist unsanitary conditions or are artificially reared. Access of kids under 30 days of age to adequate quantities of colostrum will help to prevent them from acquiring the infection in early life.