羊farmers urged to reduce number of ewes wormed at lambing
The independent industry-led group warns that left unchecked, anthelmintic resistance is one of the biggest challenges to the future health and profitability of sheep farming.
Why treat ewes?
It may be a surprise to many, but worming ewes around lambing is not normally for the benefit of the ewe.
Fit, mature ewes are able to keep worms under control using their immune system. However, if they are under nutritional strain around lambing, their immune system weakens allowing worms in the ewe’s gut to produce a lot more eggs.
Lesley Stubbings of SCOPS said: “The rationale behind treating a ewe is that it removes the worms in her gut and hence the number of worm eggs contaminating the pasture.
Which ewes should be treated?
Historically, sheep farmers have been told the higher the litter size, the more likely the ewe was to have a high PPR.
Ms Stubbings continues: “We can use BCS rather than litter size to determine the need to treat.
What proportion of ewes should I leave untreated?
“However, with mounting evidence that fit, well-fed ewes do not need a treatment, we can now view this figure as a minimum,” Stubbings said.
2018年出版的独立英国研究，由APHA和VMD资助，发现了没有优势in blanket worming ewes at lambing.
There was no difference in faecal egg counts or growth rates of lambs reared on ewes that were wormed compared to those that were not treated at lambing.
Top tips for worming ewes:
- Leave at least one in 10 of the fittest ewes in each group untreated;
- Make sure you drench to the heaviest ewes;
- Check and calibrate drench guns before you start;
- Take the plunge on scab control.
Take the plunge on scab control:
- Organophosphate dip must get down to the skin to kill sheep scab mites. This can only be done by plunge dipping for one minute;
- OP仅被授权用作Plunge Dip。它不能通过淋浴和换乘器使用。
Gareth Owen, a producer in Leicestershire who monitors egg counts in his ewes, explained the approach has already had multiple benefits for his flock.
“We have monitored ewe egg output in the run-up to lambing for several years and proved to ourselves that the majority of our ewes do not shed many eggs,” he said.
“We must be able to control worms in the long term and am not prepared to risk accelerating the development of resistance on the farm by administering indiscriminate ewe treatments simply because that’s what we always used to do.
“The fact it also saves us a lot of money and time at such a busy period is an extra bonus.”
SCOPS.adds that it is very important that a proportion of ewes is leftuntreatedif a persistent worming product is used.
To minimise the risk of resistance developing, SCOPS and Zoetis have agreed guidelines for the use of moxidectin in ewes around lambing.