Wednesday, July 6, 2016
The Battle Continues
It rained again and was overcast most all day and just like clockwork the Barberpole worms struck again. Three more ewes showed up with the telltale Bottlejaw look, which is that ugly bag under their chin like in the picture above.
I had the entire flock in the West pasture this time with my feeble attempt at rotating em out of the other one and as usual that appears to have done nothing. Two of the ewes have already been dosed with the full battery of wormers so I had to go back to the Panacure dose. I would like to dry lot them but with the recent rains even the normally grass-less barn lot now has a good amount of growth coming up.
The only thing I can say is we are not alone in this battle though. I talked to a couple other sheep breeders in the area and one or two of them are having worse issues with these worms than we are this year. We have only lost one ewe but I am worried about the two that are showing renewed issues since these worms are known to build up an immunity from just one dose.
I am basically out of ammo at this point unless I can get my local round bale supplier to bring me a bale in and just try and house the flock in the barn lot until this wet, humid weather goes away. If I up the grain ration it may keep the worm eggs from spreading and the shorter grass in the barn lot will dry off quicker.
I am also once again trying to chase down the copper treatment but every outlet around here claim they know nothing about it and the vets refuse to even look into it because if anyone mentions copper and sheep in the same sentence they freak out.
One thing I have noticed is that the only sheep that seem to get these worms are the nursing ewes. I am pretty sure it has to be a mineral deficiency that is making them so exposed which makes me think the copper treatment may work. I also went back and looked at my records and noticed that we started having issues after we stopped feeding treats two years ago because they contained trace amounts of copper. I am beginning to wonder if those treats had the good copper in them and not the bad.
At any rate another week or so and we should be passed this period once again. It seems to be only the heavy rains, warm temps and high humidity that make these worms an issue.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!