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Questions

1. Which age groups and under what conditions are sheep and goats most often affected by coccidiosis?

2. Why is it important to collect and destroy maggots from flystruck sheep?

3. Under what conditions are rubbing sheep unlikely to have lice?

4. How does feedlotting or zero-grazing benefit dairy goats?


Figure 1. Commercial goat dairy feedlot. Source: Dr Sandra Baxendell.
Figure 1. Commercial goat dairy feedlot. Source: Dr Sandra Baxendell.

Answers

1. Which age groups and under what conditions are sheep and goats most often affected by coccidiosis?

These parasites 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. It is most commonly seen in young stock just before weaning, or in lambs or kids, or hoggets in feedlots, and other situations where stock are confined at very high stocking rates. Coccidiosis in young animals is usually associated with very cold conditions and poor pasture nutrition resulting in a reduced milk supply from the ewe or doe, and forcing the lambs or kids to graze close to the ground.

2. Why is it important to collect and destroy maggots from flystruck sheep?

This breaks the life cycle, which is especially important if the maggots have survived on sheep that have had a preventative product applied previously and these maggots are resistant to the product.

3. Under what conditions are rubbing sheep unlikely to have lice?

If all of the following apply, lice are unlikely to be the cause of rubbing:

  • 10 or 15 sheep were inspected at 10 or more partings and no lice were seen.
  • The person inspecting has good vision, inspected in good light and knows what lice look like.
  • The sheep were inspected at least 8 months after the previous shearing.
  • There were no pesticide treatments that might have affected lice since the previous shearing.
  • There were no strays or purchased sheep entering the property in the last 6 months.
  • You can find some other cause for the wool damage or rubbing.

4. How does feedlotting or zero-grazing benefit dairy goats?

  • Eliminates the need for ongoing worm control measures,
  • Protects against dog attacks and paralysis ticks (common problems in goats kept in peri-urban areas),
  • Is a recognised management technique to prevent the spread of Johne’s disease.