November seasonal focus
Our monthly seasonal focus from the ParaBoss extension team
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Cooler season brings its own set of challenges
The cooler weather heralds both challenges and opportunities for producers of cattle, sheep, and goats.
Cooler weather means the barber’s pole worms will become less problematic!
Cooler weather means that the lice situation may need some attention, especially in cattle – we’re running a webinar on that topic across all livestock species. Register for the webinar!
Cooler weather means scour worms are living their best lives – as they will survive on pasture longer over the cooler months. Vigilance is needed here – and the key message is ‘test – don’t guess!
For producers with breeding stock approaching lambing, kidding, or calving, keeping condition on stock remains imperative, for all of the usual productive reasons, but also to help with the innate resilience that we are looking for stock to exhibit when under the stress late gestation places on them. Both practical experience and research trials show that stock in better condition are better able to withstand a worm burden (or other stress) than those that are in lower condition score.
Areas with deteriorating feed on offer and quality will benefit from adequate nutrition to minimise unintended consequences of stress. Breeding females also experience a relaxation of their inherent immunity to parasites as they approach parturition (birthing). Therefore testing, combined with adequate nutrition is critical to ensure no blow outs in worm numbers – this will translate into future headaches as pastures will be heavily contaminated and progeny will pick up worms from the contaminated pasture.
If your drench resistance status is unknown, consider undertaking a faecal count egg reduction test to ensure that you are using the most effective drench at the right time.
Also, a reminder to ‘know your enemy’ and use products that are effective on the parasite you are targeting. For example, do not be targeting barbers pole worm if you don’t have any! Similarly, don’t target black scour worm if you don’t have any either! This might seem a simple concept, but often times we see instances where poor product choice is targeting a parasite that is not present. Key message here: Test – don’t guess! – AND – get a larval culture to be sure of what you are targeting!