Worming strategy saves costs for Northern Ireland farmers

Aurelie Moralis, right, Veterinary Consultant, Zoetis , pictured at last year's Cydectin Young Handlers final at Clogher Valley Show with steward, judge and competitors.
Aurelie Moralis, right, Veterinary Consultant, Zoetis , pictured at last year's Cydectin Young Handlers final at Clogher Valley Show with steward, judge and competitors.

Farmers who plan worm control for their sheep can save costs and increase the productivity of their flock.

This was one of the conversation topics when Aurelie Moralis, Veterinary Consultant with Zoetis talked to sheep farmers at the CYDECTIN® Young Handlers final at Clogher Valley Show last year.

Aurelie commented: “Worming only when necessary is more cost effective and slows down the development of wormer resistance, whilst maintaining lamb growth rates.

“Our sponsorship of the CYDECTIN® Young Handlers final aims to alert up and coming young sheep farmers to the importance of a health plan for their flock.”

Aurelie recommends that farmers work with their veterinary surgeon or SQP to draw up a Flock Health Plan which follows a farm specific worm control protocol. Its suitability needs checking regularly in the face of uncontrollable changes such as weather.

Other fluctuating, unpredictable challenges through the season include varying levels of pasture larvae, and the volume of eggs passed from ewes or from lambs.

The need and indeed justification for dosing lambs can be very weather dependant, so use parasite forecasts and worm egg counts to determine the optimum dosing time.

Last year Zoetis established a network of ‘Parasite Watch’ sentinel farms across the UK to support parasite control decisions.

They have extended the remit this year through the inclusion of more farms and an upgrade in technology to provide farmers with insight into stomach worms, Nematodirus, liver fluke and fly burdens in their particular area.

The information provided includes:

Gastro-intestinal worms – regular Faecal Egg Counts (FECs) and growth rate monitoring to check for the onset of parasitic gastro-enteritis.

Nematodirus – regular FECs, weather data and other sources to give an indication of disease risk on sentinel farms.

Liver Fluke – using risk and weather data, coupled with regular sampling on Parasite Watch farms, to provide early notice of predictable threats.

Flies – data from Parasite Watch Farms to prompt early warnings, possibly before it is noticeable around livestock, that fly populations, are multiplying quickly.

The interactive website www.parasitewatch.co.uk allows farmers to get to know the Parasite Watch farms and the challenges they’re currently facing.

Updates on the findings are also available on Twitter @sheep_farmers and Facebook SheepfarmersUK.

Aurelie highlights the benefits of regular sampling by FECs pointing out that you are not spending money unnecessarily on precautionary measures - it is an early warning system which ensures that veterinary products, 
when necessary, are administered when they are most effective.

Aurelie also referred to the success of CYDECTIN® 0.1% Oral Solution for Sheep and CYDECTIN® 20mg/ml (2%) LA injection for Sheep, and pointed out that CYDECTN Oral Solution has a persistent effect preventing reinfection of stomach worms for up to five weeks whilst CYDECTIN 2% LA injection has a licensed persistency period for worms of up to 111 days and offers 60 days scab protection.

The 2017 CYDECTIN® Young Handlers final will take place at Clogher Valley Show next Wednesday 26th July and Zoetis representative, Raymond Irvine is looking forward to meeting sheep owners and to the high standard of stockmanship that this event presents each year.

Winners of the champion and reserve championship awards will receive a shepherd’s crook while shields will be presented to all finalists who qualified at the various shows throughout the season.