Consider worm egg count tests for weaners

lambexIf you’re weaning your lambs soon, consider this opportunity to take up a subsidised, quick and simple WEC (worm egg count) test.

This will help you identify how effective the drench you’re using really is on your farm, in your sheep. We are offering to test weaners either prior to weaning, or on the day, as you drench them. It’s as easy as this:

1. Do a WEC on the day you have them in the yards for weaning or drenching and drench as per normal.

2. Do a WEC (from the paddock) 10-14 days later.

You will receive larval differentiation results from the first test, and if the drench was not effective, a larval diff on the second results as well. This will tell you what worms you had and, if the drench was not effective, the percentage of worms that survived.

The cost of this has been subsidised by Murray Local Land Services with support from the National Landcare Programme, from approximately $180 to just $35.

Results from over 30 farms in eastern Murray region so far have been very informative, with some unexpected results, including:

 the very high level of barber’s pole in this area that are active over the winter months

 how single active drenches can still be 100 per cent effective if used correctly and with guidance

 how the effectiveness of a well-thought-out pre-lambing program can actually eliminate the need to drench lambs for weeks and even months instead of administering a standard weaning drench.

In one case, a single WEC prior to planned drenching taken from the sheep in the paddock (a 10-minute job) saved the producer having to drench 1,000 sheep, not just once, but twice.

Even more revealing was that the same mob’s WEC tests came back lower after a second test was performed several weeks later, indicating the animals’ own resistance to worms was increasing over time.

This saved the producer time and the cost of drenching those sheep, just because he performed two simple WECs from the paddock. For further information, or to register, contact Gen Guest on 0409 077 254 or Genevieve.reardon@lls.nsw.gov.au.

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