Spring is the beginning of grazing season. It’s also the beginning of parasite season. Lambs and un-grazed sheep develop a natural immunity to gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) parasites in their first grazing season, but it can vary.
Bring Us Your Sheep Fecal Samples
Every spring we encourage you to bring in your ewes and does fecal samples PRIOR to deworming. Sheep and other grazing animals have an expected level of parasites in their system. Their normal level of immunity controls parasites, but does not eliminate them. Over time lambs and un-grazed sheep develop immunity in their first grazing season.
We use the fecal samples to be sure medications are still working and resistance to the medication is minimal. We also use fecal samples to avoid unnecessary treatment and identify vulnerability to parasites. And we can build a parasite control program, if needed.
Call us before you take your sheep’s fecal sample. Sampling individual animals will give us the greatest amount of information but it may not be practical. If that is the case, a composite sample is more convenient. In either case we’ll want to talk about how to best gather the evidence.
Ask our vets for a FAMACHA card either on their visit out to your farm or when you are in the office. It’s a great tool for determining if your sheep have anemia.
Developed in South Africa it is a color chart showing 5 color categories corresponding to different anemia levels. It matches the color of the eye mucous membranes of sheep and other ruminants and allows you to selectively deworm sheep with anemia. The benefit is it minimizes drug use and slows development of resistant parasites.
Wet Pastures Lead To Foot Rot In Sheep
Avoid low lying, wet areas and keep feet trimmed to avoid foot rot in your flock.
Wean Lambs Between 2 And 3 Months Of Age
We suggest this practice because it’s more economical to feed a lamb grain and water, rather than a ewe so it can produce milk for consumption. Most lambs can be weaned at 45 pounds or 60 days or more of age. Feel free to call us should you have any questions.
Vaccinate Your Flock – Shoo Flies Away
Be sure your flock is up to date on their CD & T vaccines. We highly recommend you do this prior to docking and ban
ding ram lambs. This vaccine protects your flock from two key clostridial diseases and tetanus.
Hometown Veterinary Care suggests a topical product to keep lice, ticks, flies, and essentially every external parasite you can imagine off your sheep. Ultra Boss is a pour on insecticide and we have it in stock in either quart or gallon containers.
That completes our springtime healthy practices for your flock. Should you have any questions or concerns, give us a call. We’d be happy to help!