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Beyond the Bale : Apr - May 08
PREPARING FOR THE PHASE OUT OF MULESING o There are a variety of strategies now being used by sheep producers across Australia in preparation for the phasing out of mulesing by the end of 20 I 0 These are strategies that producers are using, or considering using, in their strategy towards 20 I o. Some of the practices listed below are not yet being carried out by many producers, and some are not applicable to all climatic regions and sheep types. There is an enormous range of business philosophies and aspirations among Australia's 55,000 wool producers, which will have an overriding effect on the solution mix each business chooses. Producers need to decide now their own integrated breech-blowfly-strike management strategy, using a wide range of tools, in preparation for 3 I December 20 I o. National Mulesing Assurance Program (NMAP) o Up until 20 I 0, producers who have their sheep conventionally mulesed by a contractor or neighbour should check to see if these people are accredited. · All mulesing contractors have been accredited since the end of December 2006; and · Producers who mules their own flock need to be accredited by 3 I December 2008. o Accreditation will most likely be required for operators using future clip and intradermal applications. More information: NMAp, 1800 221 076, www.nmap.com.au 2 Pain relief o 'Better Choices' is an audited program for producers who mules and apply a pain-relief product post-mulesing over their entire drop of lambs. o Wool is prepared and sold with the 'Better Choices' brand. o The pain-relief product is marketed by Bayer and sold through veterinarians. More information: www.betterchoices.com.au; your nearest Bayer area representative; your veterinarian 3 Clips o Extensive trials of the clips took place on more than 200 properties in 2007. o Some producers who were part of these trials have decided to clip all their lambs this year, as have a number of other producers.To help plan clip numbers for 2008, interested producers should contact AWl's manager for blowfly control, Ian Evans. o AWl is close to signing up a commercial partner to take the clip technology to market. More information: Ian Evans, AWl's manager for blowfly control, 0427773 005; www.wool.com.au 4 Husbandry options o Culling previously struck sheep: struck sheep are more likely to get restruck. o Double crutching, or crutch and 'bung hole' options. o The risk of a flystrike outbreak can be reduced by utilising low-risk paddocks for high-risk mobs. Grazing strategies, such as rotational/cell grazing, can help reduce worm burdens and associated scouring. Confirm worm burdens using fecal egg count tests. o Targeted use of chemicals (insect growth regulators, macrocyclic lactones and spinosyn) can help prevent flystrike. Note withholding periods before shearing and marketing of stock for slaughter. Choose the chemical most suited to your situation and if uncertain consult the relevant chemical company or your veterinarian or consultant. o Consider using fly traps (such as Lucitraps) and bait bins to strategically reduce the number of flies on the property, prior to high-risk periods, to reduce the fly 'pressure'. o Tight lambing periods enable more responsive and timely management practices to be used during high-risk periods. o Do not handle wet sheep as this can increase the incidence of dermatophilosis ('dermo'), fleece rot and associated flystrike in following months. o Some breeders have ceased mulesing wethers and turn them off at young ages as prime lambs. More information: 'Fighting flystrike' CD, free from the AWl Hotline, 1800 070 099; www.wool.com.aulipm 5 Wool marketing o Endeavour to forge a closer relationship with your customers and explore opportunities for direct sales. o Investigate branding options to make your clip more attractive, such as 'Better Choices'. o There is a recently released form that enables you to declare that a business has ceased the practise of mulesing. o Auction sales from properties that have ceased surgical mulesing are planned by some brokers in the near future. More information: your wool broker 6 Have a clear and well-defined breeding objective o Buy rams and semen from a stud that has a similar breeding objective to your own. o A small, but growing, number of studs have ceased surgical mulesing. More information: your stud and sheep classers; State Stud Merino Breeder Associations; field days 7 Reduce breech wrinkle o Most ram breeders have been breeding plainer animals in recent years. o Some ram breeders are visual scoring for wrinkle and bare area prior to mulesing, and using the scores at later ram and ewe classing to improve genetic gain. o There has been increased selection for plain sheep at flock ewe classing; commercial breeders have also been moving quickly in this direction in recent years. o There are non-genetic causes of wrinkle: · lambs from aged ewes tend to have more wrinkle; · single born and reared lambs tend to have more wrinkle; · better-fed ewes tend to have lambs with more wrinkle; and · early born lambs will tend to have more wrinkle. o Classing should be conducted within each management group to achieve the fastest gain. More information: sheep classers and other consultants; Visual Sheep Scores guide, free from the AWl Hotline, 1800 070 099 8 Selection for high performance and low wrinkle animals o An increasing number of studs have part ceased, or ceased, mulesing, and are selling semen, embryos and flock rams. o Many studs are moving quickly in this direction. o There are AI sires from studs that do not mules that also 7 ANIMAL HEALTH BEYONDTHE BALE have high productivity. o There are more 'curve-bending' sires each year: · over the past few decades, there has been an increase in the number of sheep with high fleece weight and low micron.These sheep bend the traditional relationship between these traits, hence the name 'curve benders'; and · there are an increasing number of plain, low-wrinkle sheep that have high fleece weight and low micron. More information: Sheep Genetics, 026773 5135, www.sheepgenetics.org.au; sheep classers and consultants; Merino Superior Sires (MSS), http://mss.anprod.csiro.au 9 Selection for worm resistance and low dags o Stain used to be a greater cause of breech strike than scours. However, since the onset of pasture improvement and higher stocking rates, scours now cause more strikes. o Again, there are more curve-bending AI sires - with low worm egg counts, low dag score and high productivity. More information: MSS, http://mss.anprod.csiro.au 10 Bare breech sires o Semen is available from bare breech sires. o Bare beech sires have been used by Merino studs, at the Yardstick Sire Evaluation site in WA and also in some Sheep CRC Information Nucleus sites. More information: sheep classers and consultants II Other sires o Prime lamb sires are being joined with classed-out wrinkly ewes, leaving plainer ewes to breed replacements. o Dohnes have been used to reduce breech wrinkle. o Over recent times there has been a swing to polled bloodlines to improve transport and animal welfare issues, reduce handling and OH&S issues, and improve fertility. o Selecting sheep for resistance to fleece rot, and hence higher resistance to body strike, reduces overall 'mob' susceptibility to flystrike. o Wool cut per hectare is more important than per head. o Breed faster-growing, relatively lower-mature-size animals: bigger sheep have bigger feed requirements. More information: sheep classers and other consultants 12 Visit field days o Five-year breech-strike resistance breeding trials are based at two sites: one run by CSIRO in Armidale (NSW) - a summer-dominant rainfall area - and the other run by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, at Mt Barker - a predominantly winter-dominant rainfall area. o II Sire Evaluation Sites use full visual scores, and some sites do not mules. o 8 Sheep CRC Information Nucleus sites use full visual scores and ceased mulesing at the start of 2008. o Stud field days, shows and sales. More information: MSS, http://mss.anprod.csiro.au; Sheep CRC, www.sheepcrc.org.au; sheep classers and other consultants; State Stud Merino Breeder Associations I 3 Keep connected to the customer o They have your money in their pockets. o Plan and adopt your strategy mix - now - to best manage the phase out of mulesing by 3 I December 20 I O. More information: Geoff Lindon,AWI head sheep technologies, special projects, 02 8295 3100, geoff.1 i email@example.com
Feb - Mar 08
Jun - Jul 08 Supplement