Free worm test kits for Central West sheep producers

By Coonamble District Vet Dr Jillian Kelly

Central West Local Land Services are currently offering producers a FREE worm test (valued at $120) and some follow up advice about how to interpret the results. First in best dressed, for a very limited time only! Get in touch with your local District Vet today if you would like one of these kits (one per producer).

While it has been a wormy spring and summer, things have started to really become clinical with lots of dead sheep from Barbers Pole Worm in the past two weeks.  To give you an example of how rapidly things can rise under these conditions, one mob of sheep visited last week had an egg count of 0 after an effective quarantine short acting drench onto "dirty" pasture (pasture heavily contaminated with worm larvae). After 4 weeks there were 50 dead sheep, an average egg count in the mob of 2500 eggs per gram and the sick and dead sheep tested at 12,000, 20,000 and 58,000 eggs per gram!!!!

In other words, sheep can go from healthy to dead in a very short space of time and the losses can be huge.

Even if you don't lose sheep now, it is worth testing to see what the egg counts are, to better assess the level of larval contamination on the paddock. Barbers Pole Worm larvae will become less active or infectious on the pasture over winter, but they will lay there dormant and wait for spring conditions so you may see issues in Spring or Summer. Best to test and assess the risk now so that you can come up with a combat plan!

In the south of the region there are still a few Black Scour Worm issues hanging around too that are worth dealing with as these parasites love winter and will become more active as the weather cools down.

Give your local District Vet a call on 1300 795 299 to arrange a free test kit.

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