Monday, October 1, 2012

Ivomec Resistant Worms Revisited A few issues back I told the sorry tale of our experiences with Ivomec resistant Barber Pole worms during the summer of 2010. After working with our local vets we used Cydectin pour on for cattle and drenched the flock orally, this did the trick and although the lambs were a month later than usual they sold well. So when spring 2011 rolled round it was with some trepidation we turned the sheep out on pasture and watched them closely. A cool slow spring dragged into a wet summer and by mid July with still no sign of worms I began to think we had beat the little bloodsuckers. The Salmon River divides our land and it was the time of year to move the flock to the west bank, this coupled with my absence for an upcoming trip to the National sheep show I felt it wise to worm them whether they needed it or not. I knew I would feel better for it even if they didn’t. It reminds me of “Ewe Draft” a tonic for ewes that had suffered a rough lambing and was sold in my English childhood. It was black and sweet with a fair alcohol content, one for the ewe and one for the Shepherd! Thankfully I did not have to have a dose of Cydectin to make me at ease with my decisions to worm the girls. We never saw any signs of worms at all, the lambs weaned and sold well and the ewes were all in great condition for going to the Tup. The girls are now sorted and in their breeding flocks and the rams have been in for over a week. I admit I wasted time and money worming when I did not need to, as there were no signs of problems. But after last years wreck I felt I should be doing something. It’s a bit like your old car after you have fixed her, it takes a few miles on the clock before you feel you can trust her on a trip too far from home. Well next year we shall see if we can avoid worming altogether, plenty of vigilant observation and when spotted, some lab work at the vets before pulling out the drench gun. Just like your favorite old car, “don’t fix it if it isn’t broke”. But listen for strange noises just the same. Rob Fensom farms in Salmon Arm BC and can be reached at

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