Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Parasite Resistance

A big goal with my flock is to have as little chemical dependency for worms of all kinds and liver flukes as I possibly can. Using the FAMACHA eye color chart for Barber Pole anemia I am happy to report that less than 3% of all 150+ sheep I checked today were even marginally anemic. The Shetlands had the highest level of parasite resistance, and only the oldest ewes (8 and 9 respectively) were marginal.

By doing my own fecal floats over the course of the wet summer I'm happy to report that I have not found any round worms or other stomach worms in the fecals. I checked nearly every animal individually and had every 15th animal or so also tested at the vet clinic I use to make sure I wasn't just overlooking them.

I have seen tapeworm segments in a few of the BFL poops and they were immediately given valbazen. Hey. Worms happen. Being open and honest about it can only help the greater group of shepherds.

No tapes in the Shetlands. I am sure many neighbors have seen me stooped or crouched over a sprinkling of sheep poops examining them for tape segments....and chasing sheep down that WERE pooping so I can make sure that those are indeed their poops. Yes. Crazy shepherd.

I was really proud of how cherry red the eye lid membranes were for the majority of the sheep. With the lush pastures and wet and soggy grounds, I was nervous about worms. I guess even though I'll continue to check for worms, I can honestly say that I'm doing OK in that department and choosing animals that have a higher resistance to them.

I also was able to separate the sheep that I'm taking to Jefferson. I believe I'm showing 17 sheep and taking about 22 (some will be for sale). I'm also bringing back a few sheep for shepherds and with the new to me trailer I should be able to fit them all in after doing a 'dry run' today with the show team.

i don't grain my sheep and I don't push the envelope with their growth or feeding to win at the shows, but I do like to take them there to give people an idea of the type of sheep that I am raising and breeding for.

I'm also really tickled with the fleeces on the lambs this year. While not every lamb has the ultra fine crimpy UK fleece, the others have more of a bold crimp, but it is still soft. I have only one that is straighter fleeced and double coated (like his mother) but they are both gorgeous modified colors.

The ram lambs all have their 'boy parts' and bites are looking pretty awesome right now too. Horns are good and there are several with scurs that could be beneficial to a breeding program for polled lines.

when and if time allows, I will be getting photos of some of the sale animals before Jefferson so I can bring them along if need be. Growth and condition scores on all lambs and ewes are just incredible due to the STILL lush green pastures.

That reminds me...I better go move the electro-netting again!


Michelle said...

Lush? Green? Do you live on Mars, or just on another continent? ;-)

sheila said...

Just found your comment..I've been MIA for a few months getting kids back to school. Wow..you have your bases covered..makes me feel a little..inadequate!!haha Good luck and have fun at Jefferson!

Available sheep

With my work load continuing to pile up, and less time to spend with the sheep, I am offering the following: My entire flock of BlueFaced ...