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Beyond the Bale : September 2017
benefits to not just those lambs, but to other sheep on the property by keeping levels of worm larvae on the pasture lower or by pre-empting a problem. It should be given (except in the dry areas) regardless of the worm burden of lambs at the time. Weaning is a stressful time for lambs, which lose both the milk (albeit only a small part of their diet at this time) and the security from their mother. Weaning of spring lambs often coincides with other stresses: in summer rainfall regions it is a time of increasing risk from barber’s pole worm, whereas in winter rainfall areas the feed is typically drying off and feed quality and quantity are decreasing. Weaners are also the most susceptible class of sheep on a property as their immunity to worms is undeveloped at this age. Combined with these stresses, weaners can rapidly acquire a serious worm infection at a time when growth is vitally important to their survival and enterprise profitability. Sometimes spring-born prime lambs are not weaned, they are simply kept with their mothers for another month or two to avoid weaning stress before being sold. Recent research in Western Australia and New South Wales has clearly shown that these lambs should also be drenched when the oldest are about 14 weeks old, as by this time they will have acquired enough worms to reduce their subsequent growth. An effective, and preferably short-acting, combination drench given at weaning or about 14 weeks will remove a developing burden of worms that may not yet be apparent on a worm egg count, giving the lambs a head-start to face the stresses to come while their immunity develops. AFTER WEANING (OR THE DRENCH AT 14 WEEKS) PROVIDE THE BEST PADDOCKS In summer rainfall areas, move lambs onto prepared low-worm-risk paddocks, or in southern Australia, fresh paddocks or stubble. Monitor lambs with worm egg counts at 4–6 weekly intervals and use the WormBoss Drench Decision Guide for your region to decide whether to drench. MORE INFORMATION Further information on worm control in lambing ewes, lambs and weaners for your region can be found at www.wormboss.com.au/programs Young weaners, drenched and moved to a fresh paddock. PHOTO: Deb Maxwell PARABOSS: BEST PRACTICE ADVICE FOR MANAGING SHEEP PARASITES ParaBoss is a suite of three products – LiceBoss, WormBoss and FlyBoss – developed to help sheep producers in the management of lice, worms and blowflies. The LiceBoss, WormBoss and FlyBoss websites are sources of detailed management information and regional programs that will assist in managing the major parasite risks for sheep. The websites have been developed by expert panels of parasitologists and veterinarians from across Australia. ParaBoss provides access to the three websites at www.paraboss.com.au. Subscribe to ParaBoss News, the twice monthly free email newsletter with state outlooks on the current state of sheep parasites as well as feature articles and the quick quiz to test your knowledge of sheep parasites. You can subscribe on the ParaBoss website. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/paraboss.com.au to see weekly posts on flystrike, lice and worm control. ParaBoss is funded by AWI and MLA and coordinated by the University of New England with industry oversight. MORE INFORMATION www.paraboss.com.au WormBoss worm control regions. ON FARM 53
In the Shops - September 2017