Livestock drugs producer Zoetis is urging sheep farmers to be on excessive alert for worm and fluke dangers of their flocks this autumn.
Outcomes from the farms concerned within the firm’s parasite watch scheme on the finish of August revealed worm egg counts in lambs various from 70 to over 700 eggs/gram, with a median of 380 eggs/gram.
Zoetis stated these outcomes spotlight the significance of faecal egg counts (FEC) on a person farm and at a bunch degree.
Along with development charges, they’re a great indication of the necessity for remedy in lambs, the corporate stated.
Zoetis vet Patricia van Veen stated the acute and variable climate is making predictions troublesome and is probably going contributing to localised spikes in FECs.
Zoetis stated its parasite watch information from earlier years reveals the parasite problem stays an actual threat into the autumn.
“Fluke is tougher to watch via FECs right now of the 12 months, because the time between an infection and egg manufacturing, often called the pre-patent interval, is 10-12 weeks,” van Veen stated.
“Throughout this era, the early immature migrating larvae do plenty of injury, inflicting the illness often called acute fluke in any age of sheep.
“Ewes and rams additionally want monitoring within the method to tupping as fluke burdens may influence their situation and conception charges.”
Sheep farmer John Yeomans, who farms close to Newtown, Powys, and is without doubt one of the parasite watch monitor farms, stated he handled his animals earlier this 12 months as a result of parasite threat and difficult summer time.
Yeomans tups 530-550, largely Beulah ewes and 170 ewe lambs annually, bringing them again to the house farm in October and returning them to the hill in December till lambing.
“Our farm is closely stocked, with the ewes grazing high-up, so we demand plenty of them,” he stated.
“Over the previous decade, we’ve got observed that fluke can pose an actual threat on our farm, generally leading to lifeless sheep.
“Now we have carried out submit mortems on them earlier than and located them to be stuffed with fluke.”
Yeomans stated he not solely displays worms and fluke by common testing however can be making an attempt to do extra focused worming primarily based on weight positive aspects in lambs.
“We should use medicines responsibly to safeguard their use,” he stated.
Van Veen stated it can be crucial that farmers work with their animal well being supplier to pick out the perfect product, notably when there’s a combined parasite burden of their lambs.
“Fastidiously think about which product you’re planning to make use of,” she stated.
“Your animal well being advisor will be capable of provide the finest recommendation on which merchandise to decide on.”