Thursday, June 30, 2016
Speaking of Nasty Pests
Once again we got hit with the Barber Pole worms. It came a bit later this year but as soon as it cooled down a bit and we got that rain the other day I noticed three ewes had developed a tell-tale pouch under their chin.
We wormed everyone the first week of April so it hasn't even been three months yet. So I got out the second batch of wormer and got two of the three ewes wormed again but the third one eluded me until this morning. By late afternoon she was already dead.
This is the second year in a row now. Where these nasty parasites came from or how they got out in my pastures is still a mystery to me as we never had an issue with them until the monsoon we had in June last year and it was over three years since we had introduced a new flock member. I guess when ya got 50+ sheep and babies running around you are going to lose one on a pretty regular basis but these worms strike fast and hard and build up an immunity to the wormer used almost immediately which means we have three tries at getting the sheep through the danger period and then we are out of ammo so to speak.
Tomorrow I am dosing the entire flock once again but since this is the second year in a row now I am going to go ahead and start planning a seasonal rotation and dosing every June. This is why my fencing project is so important right now to allow us a greater freedom to move the sheep and isolate an infected pasture immediately. The trouble is timing it to correspond to the proper temperature and humidity/moisture levels I think. If I do it too soon I waste a shot since these worms are so resistant to the wormer and if there are any resistant eggs left and you rotate the flock into a clean field it becomes contaminated.
Up until this point I had hoped that last year was a one off issue and wouldn't return since as I said we never had a problem before and we got all that rain in a short period. Guess I was wrong on that score but I did catch it quick once the first signs began.
The worst part of this is though thinking about what might happen in a long term grid down situation when modern day wormer medicines are not readily available. I shudder to think about it.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!