How to check wormer for sheep is working?

A major challenge with raising livestock is animals can constantly pick up parasites as they graze. If it gets too bad, the parasite load can cause loss of productivity and animal losses. However, many farmers also encounter issues by being too heavy handed with wormer. Overuse can build resistance to the wormers. It can lead to huge problems because there are only a small number of different types. If animals get resistant to them all, there is no way to treat parasites.

Treating sheep

One thing farmers forget is animals naturally build immunity to parasites. So, generally it is only necessary to treat younger ones with wormers or use them when infestations get dangerous. Even then, frequent treatments should not be necessary if you use the right products in the correct way.

With sheep, animals can have good immunity by the time they reach a year old. Therefore, it is a good idea to treat lambs and then use wormer more sparingly on older animals.

If you do treat animals, you should always do a test to check the effectiveness. If a treatment kills over 95% of parasites, you don’t need to do another until levels rise again. However, if it is less effective, you may need to adapt how you treat animals. For example, you may need to try a different type of treatment.

Drench test

The best thing to do to test effectiveness is to take a random group of animals, whether it is lambs or older sheep. You can then place them in a clean pen. Once they dung, you can take samples and test to get a faecal egg count. That will tell you the parasite load for those animals. You can then give them a wormer.

The crucial thing here is to put the same animals in a clean pen again after you give several days for the treatment to do its thing. As a rule of thumb, wait 7 days for yellow wormers and 14 days for white or clear ones. Once in the pen, wait for them to dung again and take samples to test. The difference in the pre-treatment and post treatment egg count will tell you how effective it was.

Treating more animals

Once you determine the treatment will be effective, you can treat the rest of your animals. Just remember to follow the wormer’s guidelines. Most importantly, ensure you don’t underdose. Always dose to match each animal’s weight. If you can’t do that, treat every animal with the same dosage as the heaviest animal.

Do you want to order wormer?

JS Hubbuck Ltd appreciates that using wormers is necessary but should only be done carefully. This is the best way to get the benefits without potentially causing overreliance and resistance. We can offer advice about different products and their application, supporting clients so they have the best chance of getting positive results.

So, if you want wormer for sheep or cattle, please contact us.