November 3, 2016 and I am hearing about people struggling with wormy Sheep. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is in the south the Parasite battle is never evending. Here are a few things that I do to keep the problem under control.
- Do fecal egg counts to determination if you need to deworm, and if your dewormer is working. Your vet can do these for you for a small fee, or I picked up a Microscope from http://eggzamin.com and it was one of the best investments I have ever made. I think I paid $500.00 for the Microscope and the kit and probably saved the lives of 50 sheep…
- Check eyelids, inner eyelid membrane should be a bright healthy red, if they are pink, light pink or white you have a problem and need to treat ASAP.
- Use the same dewormer until it stops working, rotating dewormers will build a resistance to your herd sooner.
- Dont deworm just to deworm, if you deworm your sheep because you feel they need it when actually they don’t , it is just like you taking medication when you don’t need it and you build a resistance, so when you bust your leg and take a pain pill it doesn’t work because you have been taking them on a regular basis.
- Rotation, Rotation, Rotation, other than deworming a few individuals, I have avoided deworming my entire herd going on 4 years by rotating pastures. It takes the barbarpole / bloodsucker / stomach worm 21 days to hatch. If you can set your place up where you can rotate your herd into a “clean” new area every 21 days you will drastically improve the health of your sheep/goats. The key is to get them off that area before the parasite eggs hatch and your animals have ingested the larve.
- Good feed, it is also my thoughts than when livestock are on good feed and they are in good fleash, they have a easier and faster recovery time. Being in Texas and the growth rate of the grass a foot a day it doesn’t carry much protein and vitimans. A flake of good quality hay goes a long way. Myself I don’t grain I feed strictly alfalfa.