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Rural Diary March
15 March 2019 Andrew Dowling

Staying on target

Internal parasite challenge is likely to be at a seasonal peak in autumn. The major impact is the parasite larvae reducing the appetite of sheep as soon as they are ingested, in turn leading to reduced growth rates. This is a problem when you are targeting minimum body weights and body condition for a successful tupping.

A faecal egg count is a good measure of the impact parasites may be having. Collecting 20 to 40 similar sized samples for a composite egg count can give a better indication of the mob, rather than taking 10 samples for individual counting. If the result indicates a low worm burden, then investigation into other causes of poor tupping are warranted.

The type of worms present have a significant impact. Barber’s pole worm, Trichostrongylus and Telodorsagia can all cause significant production losses, whereas Cooperia has a much lesser affect. When sending samples off to the lab, ask them to identify which worms are present, a procedure that takes about 10 days.

Centramax capsules contain the anthelmintics albendazole and abamectin, plus selenium and cobalt which are suitable for sheep 40 to 80 kg. This makes it a good option for low body condition ewes in a high parasite challenge prior to mating. Regaining body condition will ensure a successful tupping and set the ewe up to better manage the winter.

For more advice on the benefits of Centramax, contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative. 

Sponsored by Agritrade

Andrew Dowling

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