Parasite Control

Pasture Management - Worm ControlFor the young lambs and calves born over spring, internal parasites can be a major cause of ill-thrift and reduced weight gains.


Therefore it is important to ensure you have an effective parasite control strategy in place for young stock.   This often involves grazing management strategies combined with the use of an effective drench.

On lifestyle blocks rearing calves, the repeated use of the same paddocks year round often results in the build up of large worm burdens on pasture. Added to this is the problem of increasing parasite resistance to drenches. We recommend using combination drenches in young cattle under 18 months of age to ensure adequate treatment against all worms affecting these animals. A combination drench is a product containing two or more active ingredients (the drug that kills the worms) and when used properly, these drenches actually slow the development of drench resistance. There are several options available depending on whether you prefer to use an oral or pour-on product, how frequently you are able to administer the drench and whether you want a single product to treat both cattle and sheep.


Unlike sheep, goats remain susceptible to internal parasites (‘worms’) throughout their lives.  For information on goat worming click here.  


Barbers Pole

Haemonchus contortus, commonly known as barbers pole worm, is a blood sucking parasite found in the stomach of sheep, goats and alpacas.  Large numbers of the worm quickly deplete the blood supply, especially in young animals, causing them to become pale and weak, and deaths can occur.


In ideal conditions the worms can complete a life cycle in just 10-14 days and animals can quickly become reinfected between drenches.


For this reason, during the barbers pole season (typically February to April) we recommend using a product effective against Barbers Pole to prevent the effects of this nasty blood sucking worm.  

Contact your local Franklin Vets clinic for more detailed advice on which products are best suited to your lifestyle block.
Avoid Death in Calves & Drench to Correct Weight
There can be problems with over dosing with some brands of drench (oral, pour-on and injection).  Whilst it is usually best practice to treat a mob at the dose rate recommended for the heaviest animal in the mob, this is not a good idea if there is too much variation in live weight within the mob.  This is particularly important with young calves at this time of year.

Our Recommendations :
Use a weight band to sort the mob into several groups based on their live weights.  Treat each group at the dosage required for the heaviest calf in that subgroup.