Simple, basic deworming schedule

deena1365

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I’m new to sheep and livestock in general. In December I purchased two Saint Croix ewes. On is a year old and the other is four years old and gave birth to two healthy ewes a month ago. I really want to keep them as healthy as possible. I’ve read that the Saint Croix are parasites resistant but what exactly die that mean in regards to deworming? I need the basics and in “newbie” terms please😬 What, when, and how to administer dewormers? Thanks in advance for any help.
 

Baymule

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Best thing I can tell you is to NOT implement a regular worming schedule. That only leads to wormer medicine resistance and the worms become even worse.

Learn how to take a fecal sample. That means to put on a rubber or nitrile glove and go digging for doo-doo. Yup, secure the sheep, if you don''t have a chute, no problem. put a halter on the sheep or make a loop around the neck, loop over the nose and back through the neck loop to make a halter. Tie the sheep , head up, to a strong post next to the fence or a wall. have someone push the sheep against the fence or wall and hold the sheep there. You put two gloved fingers into the rectum and gather 8-ish to 10-ish berries. Pull glove off, inside out, trapping the berries inside the glove. Write name of sheep on the glove with a sharpie. put glove into a zip lock baggie. Take the sample to the vet's office for analysis. The vet will take a worm count and tell you what needs to be done. Before following the vet's advice, especially if the vet is NOT sheep/goat experienced, come back here and confirm the instructions. Keep the fecal sample in the refrigerator if you don't take immediately to the vet, and don't keep it very long as the results go down the older the sample is.

If the worm load is low, you don't have to worm the sheep. If it is high, worm, wait 10 to 14 days, worm again, wait 10-14 days and take another fecal sample to the vet. One of the greatest gifts ever given me was by a fellow BYH'er @Mike CHS wife, Teresa, who taught me how to do fecal exams and how to count the worm eggs under a microscope.

Many of us use Garlic Barrier as a wormer. It doesn't build up worm resistance, but can be inadequate in a heavy worm load. We all want what is best for our animals and many of us strive to be as organic as possible, but sometimes you HAVE to bring out the chemical wormers for what is best for the sheep that is infected with parasites. A monthly dose of Garlic Barrier will help in fending off parasites, but should not be entirely relied upon for a wormer.


I wish you the best and good luck with your sheep!
 

Baymule

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Oh, forgot, spring excites the worms and they come on strong, same thing with birth. Either event wakes up the worms that have laid dormant and they start doing their damage.

I have had ewes with such a high worm load that I don't know how they weren't dead. No kidding. It was after lambing and the worm load increased dramatically. These are the ones that I have culled out of the flock, after proper treatment of course. No point in breeding these high worm load problems into the flock by keeping them.

I'm not trying to scare you or send you into a panic. You have a breed that is known for their worm resistance and you more than likely won't have that kind of problem. I commend you for wanting to get in front of parasites and not waiting until you have sheep dropping dead because of worm load. By keeping an eye on them and testing them you will have a healthy flock. Good on you!
 

mysunwolf

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While I agree with everything that Baymule said, I will add that we deworm every single ewe coming out of the lambing jugs. As well as every single lamb in late April, early May. No questions asked, these are always necessary with our breed and our parasite loads.

For the rest of the year, we use a combination of FAMACHA scores (checked every 2 weeks for lambs, every month for ewes), fecals (when things "just don't feel right"), intense rotational grazing (not on a field for longer than 4 days, not returned for at least 90 days), and culling. You're lucky in that, as Bay said, St. Croix sheep are relatively parasite resistant and so shouldn't require any routine worming (all depending on your location and the quality of your stock).
 

Mike CHS

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We only give a wormer when needed except as mysunwolf does. We do fecal samples on any sheep that isn't staying in condition but we don't even bother testing ewes that have lambed and just assume they will have a worm load so they get wormed. We give wormer to lambs at two months old and again in 10 days or so (if they aren't gaining at a good rate). Lambs that look great don't get a wormer. We have found FAMACHA to be wrong more times than correct so we do random fecal pulls on any sheep that doesn't look in great condition.

I don't understand the physiology about how they do it but we have quite a few ewes that have shown a zero egg count for more than three years now. They all were the keepers when we culled hard and we do give a garlic drench.
 

deena1365

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Best thing I can tell you is to NOT implement a regular worming schedule. That only leads to wormer medicine resistance and the worms become even worse.

Learn how to take a fecal sample. That means to put on a rubber or nitrile glove and go digging for doo-doo. Yup, secure the sheep, if you don''t have a chute, no problem. put a halter on the sheep or make a loop around the neck, loop over the nose and back through the neck loop to make a halter. Tie the sheep , head up, to a strong post next to the fence or a wall. have someone push the sheep against the fence or wall and hold the sheep there. You put two gloved fingers into the rectum and gather 8-ish to 10-ish berries. Pull glove off, inside out, trapping the berries inside the glove. Write name of sheep on the glove with a sharpie. put glove into a zip lock baggie. Take the sample to the vet's office for analysis. The vet will take a worm count and tell you what needs to be done. Before following the vet's advice, especially if the vet is NOT sheep/goat experienced, come back here and confirm the instructions. Keep the fecal sample in the refrigerator if you don't take immediately to the vet, and don't keep it very long as the results go down the older the sample is.

If the worm load is low, you don't have to worm the sheep. If it is high, worm, wait 10 to 14 days, worm again, wait 10-14 days and take another fecal sample to the vet. One of the greatest gifts ever given me was by a fellow BYH'er @Mike CHS wife, Teresa, who taught me how to do fecal exams and how to count the worm eggs under a microscope.

Many of us use Garlic Barrier as a wormer. It doesn't build up worm resistance, but can be inadequate in a heavy worm load. We all want what is best for our animals and many of us strive to be as organic as possible, but sometimes you HAVE to bring out the chemical wormers for what is best for the sheep that is infected with parasites. A monthly dose of Garlic Barrier will help in fending off parasites, but should not be entirely relied upon for a wormer.


I wish you the best and good luck with your sheep!
Best thing I can tell you is to NOT implement a regular worming schedule. That only leads to wormer medicine resistance and the worms become even worse.

Learn how to take a fecal sample. That means to put on a rubber or nitrile glove and go digging for doo-doo. Yup, secure the sheep, if you don''t have a chute, no problem. put a halter on the sheep or make a loop around the neck, loop over the nose and back through the neck loop to make a halter. Tie the sheep , head up, to a strong post next to the fence or a wall. have someone push the sheep against the fence or wall and hold the sheep there. You put two gloved fingers into the rectum and gather 8-ish to 10-ish berries. Pull glove off, inside out, trapping the berries inside the glove. Write name of sheep on the glove with a sharpie. put glove into a zip lock baggie. Take the sample to the vet's office for analysis. The vet will take a worm count and tell you what needs to be done. Before following the vet's advice, especially if the vet is NOT sheep/goat experienced, come back here and confirm the instructions. Keep the fecal sample in the refrigerator if you don't take immediately to the vet, and don't keep it very long as the results go down the older the sample is.

If the worm load is low, you don't have to worm the sheep. If it is high, worm, wait 10 to 14 days, worm again, wait 10-14 days and take another fecal sample to the vet. One of the greatest gifts ever given me was by a fellow BYH'er @Mike CHS wife, Teresa, who taught me how to do fecal exams and how to count the worm eggs under a microscope.

Many of us use Garlic Barrier as a wormer. It doesn't build up worm resistance, but can be inadequate in a heavy worm load. We all want what is best for our animals and many of us strive to be as organic as possible, but sometimes you HAVE to bring out the chemical wormers for what is best for the sheep that is infected with parasites. A monthly dose of Garlic Barrier will help in fending off parasites, but should not be entirely relied upon for a wormer.


I wish you the best and good luck with your sheep!
Thanks so much Baymule! We are attempting to be as much non-chemical as possible so this is very helpful. How hard is it to learn how to do the fecal exams yourself? I’d be interested in learning to be able to cut out the middle man if possible. Thanks again!
While I agree with everything that Baymule said, I will add that we deworm every single ewe coming out of the lambing jugs. As well as every single lamb in late April, early May. No questions asked, these are always necessary with our breed and our parasite loads.

For the rest of the year, we use a combination of FAMACHA scores (checked every 2 weeks for lambs, every month for ewes), fecals (when things "just don't feel right"), intense rotational grazing (not on a field for longer than 4 days, not returned for at least 90 days), and culling. You're lucky in that, as Bay said, St. Croix sheep are relatively parasite resistant and so shouldn't require any routine worming (all depending on your location and the quality of your stock).
Thanks for the information. Being so new to this I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I just want to give my sheep the best chance at a good healthy life. I’ll be getting a fecal done on my mamma sheep as soon as possible and go from there.
 

Baymule

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The friend who taught me went to a class. I don’t know just how that came about. Perhaps you could check with the county extension agent for information. My friend taught me and I taught two other friends.

I get it on the non chemical, but when you have a sheep fall over dead because of worms, suddenly chemical workers look pretty darn good. Sometimes you just have to get out the big guns.
 
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