9 February 1996

BE ON GUARD AGAINST PARASITES

Special attention should be paid to ewes to reduce their parasitic burdens in the run-up to lambing. This will reduce worm contamination of pastures and indoor units. Ewes should have been wormed and ewes, and lambs if necessary, treated against coccidiosis. This is most common in three to eight-week-old lambs born outside. Lambs from indoor units are also affected. Cold/wet late springs pose the greatest risk for the main lambing period March to April. But coccidiosis can also occur earlier in indoor units and in areas such as the south-west of England, where lambing is early. Here rainfall has been above average in recent months and ewes could be at risk if not treated and grass is in short supply. Elsewhere there is still time to treat ewes and reduce pasture contamination.