Thursday, August 27, 2009

Parasite resistant sheep.

My new scale got here yesterday. Wow, that was quick. I'm going to try to get it set up this weekend. Pullo and Damascus are both going to the locker on Monday, I'm curious to see how much they weigh before they go bye-bye.

On the parasite front, this is usually the time of the year when internal parasites are at their worst. We have had one heck of a damp, moist, muddy, rainy summer. Great for the pasture, bad for hay-making, and the absolute worst for parasites.

I am happy to say that we have no coccidiosis in our fecals this year, NONE, thanks to preventative treatment that started back in March.

Our heavy cull last year paid off. This year, I have very few sheep showing signs of parasites.

Parasite resistant sheep are special sheep. They don't carry as much of a load as the non-resistant, wormy sheep do. A small percentage of your sheep will carry the most parasites.
Being parasite resistant is a heritable trait, you can breed for it!

This article is the best I have read on parasite resistance in sheep.

Do yourself and your sheep a big favor. Print this article out, read it, re-read it, so you can have a happy, hardy, thrifty, healthy flock of parasite resistant Shetland sheep. Develop a relationship with your sheep vet, fecal test regularly. Practice "Smart Drenching", don't overuse dewormers, or under-dose.
Non-resistant worms are your friend, as funny as that sounds. Keep the strong, resistant sheep, and their weak, wimpy worms, for breeding.

This will also save you money on pricey dewormer.

I'm also going to experiment with DE. I used to give it to my chickens. I liked the idea of a mechanical, yet safe, dewormer. I ordered a 50 lb bag. I'm planning on mixing it with baking soda and offering it free choice, since I'm not feeding grain right now. Any advice on using DE?


Angela Rountree said...

I like the site you linked. I also like "Internal parasites of sheep and their control-now and in the future" Background information for farmers by Dr. Clive Dalton from New Zealand. Angela

Sharrie said...

Glad to read the "real Juliann" again. But, I agree with Tuesday's post.

Theresa said...

I mix a bit of DE in with my minerals & kelp. That way I know they are eating it. It has helped quite a bit, I think.

Donna said...

DE?? Please's getting late here and my mind isn't working..been a long week.

Juliann said...

Donna, it's "Diatomacious Earth".

"Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth by Perma-Guard� is Mother Nature's product and is safe for the environment, pets, and people. It is commonly called Fossil Shell Flour and is used to organically control insects, as an internal wormer, and for parasite removal in both humans and animals."

It's supposed to be a mechanical dewormer. It acts by scraping against the body of a parasitic worm, injuring and killing the worm. There are a lot of mixed reviews on weather it works or not, same with garlic or other natural products. I figure it can do no harm, so I figured I'd give it a try.

corinne said...

I will be interested to see how the DE works for you, I have been trying to find some locally to buy, but none of the stores around here stock it in the 'food grade' quality. I have tried the raw, hulled pumpkin seeds on my chickens and seem to have had pretty good results with that...and I was pretty skeptical at first, but I did notice a difference in the birds. I may try that on the sheep as well.

Franna said...

I've been feeding DE fairly regularly this year (and garlic powder until it ran out) and I think it's made a difference - at least something has. Eye membranes have better color than the last several years, however, we still have a few pale ones.

Juliann said...

Corinne, I ordered a 50 lb bag of it online. It wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be. I will use it on a control ram lamb and see if I get a difference in the fecals in a few weeks.