Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Whelp It was Barber Pole Worms
The verdict was in today and it was indeed Barber Pole Worms that killed our ewe. We treated every ewe and lamb for this as the lambs turned 4 days old when I tagged and gave them their other shots etc. but apparently there is a time limit to the treatments effectiveness. Why we have never run into a problem before this is easy we have never had a rainy season that lasted this long before in the years we been keeping sheep. Apparently there is also a new strain of it hitting in the super rain soaked region that is resistant to traditional treatments. The vet at the university said our ewe was only one of a long list of carcasses he had identified as barber pole worm death recently.
What this meant was my son, mother and I were in the barn for hours this evening re-worming all 50 odd sheep. Technically we should also change their pasture until these wet conditions can fix itself but there simply is no other pasture to put them out on except where they are at until I get some more fencing finished. On the bright side the field they are in is large enough that they have plenty of room to move into new areas so that should cut down on the danger. It also means we are going to be buying hay over the next Winter though I imagine.
Ya know drought is definitely a terrible thing but this overly rain saturated mess we been dealing with this year sure causes more health problems overall. I can't even properly clean out the barn from the wet creeping into it and a big portion of the back is still a swamp. The perfect breeding grounds for these types of microscopic creepy crawly death dealers.
As I stated above this has never been an issue for us before because by this time the ground is usually so dry people are praying for rain around here. The heat and the dry conditions kill off the larva long before the treatments we give out wear off during normal years.
Chalk this up to another learning experience. Sad it had to cost the life of such a prime productive ewe though.
On the bright-side of things though as we were capturing and shoving worm medicine down each sheep throat I got to inspect all the hooves we been having so many problems with. Since we are running them out into the hay field now the flock is getting to travel about 30 yards or so on gravel I had put down a few years ago and it has done wonders for getting their feet back into good shape.
After this latest loss and now the pasturage/fencing issue I am pretty sure 2015 is going to be another red number year overall. Oh well growing pains are to be expected I guess.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!