Livestock pharmaceutical firm Elanco is urging sheep farmers to hold out faecal egg rely (FEC) testing on their sheep earlier than utilizing wormers.
Elanco mentioned FEC checks can inform farmers on whether or not a wormer is required, the timing and selection of wormer remedy, and any administration or resistance points with the worming product most lately used.
Matt Colston, Elanco ruminant technical advisor, mentioned farmers ought to be testing sheep earlier than they drench to stop pointless stress and loss in progress charges.
“Farmers ought to be testing sheep earlier than they drench; should you spend the effort and time getting the lambs in once they don’t have to be handled, you’re inflicting pointless stress and due to this fact loss in progress charges, in addition to losing your individual money and time,” he mentioned.
Colston mentioned he advises farmers to hold out mob FEC testing by gathering 15 to twenty recent samples of dung from a choice of animals inside the group.
“Testing is vital as a result of we are able to’t predict from the calendar what’s going to occur with worm burdens,” he mentioned.
“The outdated apply of worming all through the summer season isn’t proper anymore; heat and moist climate encourages worm presence and final 12 months it principally all occurred between August and November.”
Colston mentioned the primary FEC check ought to be taken when lambs have been out and grazing for round three weeks and farmers ought to observe up by testing each three to 4 weeks all through the season.
Farmers ought to check extra usually if lambs are displaying indicators of scouring or not rising in addition to anticipated, he added.
“Even should you haven’t checked to see what worms are current earlier than remedy, it’s at all times worthwhile checking to see what’s been left behind,” Colston mentioned.
“In case your chosen remedy leaves sufficient worms behind, the lambs’ progress charges will probably be affected; you possibly can lose half the potential progress charges earlier than there’s any outward signal that there’s something flawed with the lambs.”
The detection of worms by FEC testing after drenching can point out potential issues with wormer administration, or wormer resistance, Colston mentioned.
In keeping with Colston, widespread administration issues embody:
- Underdosing of lambs because of not weighing animals frequently sufficient, and underestimating their weight;
- Dosing weapons not being calibrated correctly;
- Not taking sufficient time to manage the wormer, and failing to make sure every animal swallows their dose
“Worms left behind after remedy aren’t essentially a analysis of resistance, however fairly a sign that you could examine this extra carefully,” Colston mentioned.
“You’ll want to proceed to watch worm egg counts all through the season, as a result of there will probably be completely different worms current at completely different instances of 12 months, and a wormer that doesn’t work so nicely immediately, may fit nicely at a special level the season.
“You also needs to double test that you simply’re weighing your animals frequently, so you realize their appropriate weight ranges, and at all times calibrate your dosing gun correctly earlier than utilizing it.”