Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The war on worms begins now.

Sunday, we went out and caught up the flock for de-worming. The ewes who we exposed to rams were not treated. I plan on de-worming them in the jug with Valbazan.
All rams were caught and condition scored. All are in good flesh and healthy looking, and eye membranes are nice and deep red. Good! They were double dosed with Valbazan. Same with the ewe lambs and open ewes. We'll hit the same group again in a few months.
My vet has recemmended I do a preemptive strike on coccidiosis this year, instead of treating individual sheep as they show symtoms over the summer. I haven't decided which route I'm going to take yet, if I'll start treating the water with Corid, or use a feed with a coccidiostat in it. This should knock down the coccidia levels in the sheep, so fewer oocysts in the pasture to be digested by weaner lambs.
Got a few months to figure that out, anyway.
I'm going to have the pastures fertilized in a few months, and try to get a jump start on hand spraying the invasive horse nettle out there before April. I'm savoring the days of early darkness, I know I'm gonna have a very busy spring (arn't we all?)

I'm starting to get excited about lambing already. My friend Denise just had her first goat kids of the year, and seeing those tiny spotted cuties got my blood pumping for lamby-pies.


Sharrie said...

Kind of off topic,Juliann, but how do people do the organic sheep thing when the little buggers need several types of "medicine"?

Laura said...

Juliann, just so you know Corid can cause sheep Polio.

I use CocciStop sold by Premier. You use 16 oz. per gallon for 5 days. It can also be drenched.

This past summer was the first year I used a coccidiostat (I also dewormed the lambs more often) and I noticed a big difference in size and the lambs looked better (none were potbellied, or bony.)

Hope your pastures grow well!


kristi said...

not sure if I ever mentioned this but I have very good friend that is a certified herbalist and has a herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats. She uses Sweet Annie and Diatomaceous Earth as a natural wormer and has been wormer free for years. I am just starting to use this with my goats/sheep. I grow a ton of Sweet Annie and the D.E. is fairly inexpensivie. You have to start in small amounts but if one wants to go more natural this could be the route. You can find more info searching google too. Just an idea. I refuse to use medicated feed and this hopefully will work as well for me:)

Juliann said...

Hi Sharrie,
I've heard of people using garlic as a dewormer. If I had it to do all over again, every newly purchased sheep would be quaranteened for three weeks, and I'd whale them with Ivomec, then a white dewormer. Feed them off the ground, and then let them into the pastures.
I guess not too much can be done for coxy. It was explained to me that coxy levels build in a pasture over the years, and most shepherds start having troubles with it near the 5-6 year mark, then levels begin to cause symptoms in sheep. That's the point we're at, we started having coxy troubles two years ago. Last year was the first time I broke down and started treating the whole flock when we had scouring sheep. (not just lambs, some of the yearlings too.)

Laura, thanks for the advice on Coccistop. I had never heard of the stuff, but I'll try it. I hope it's not as expensive as Corid! (ouch!)

Hi Kristi,
We tried doing the all natural, all organic thing for the first four years. Now I'm working with my vet after having a ewe die last year from strongle worms. I kinda had to start hitting them hard.
I used to feed DE to my chickens, maybe I'll start mixing that in the grain again...

Thanks for GREAT ideas, you gals! I love it when people get me thinking. :)