11 August 1995

Drench lambs if heavy rain follows heat

WHEN heavy rain follows drought-like conditions flockmasters must drench lambs for worms.

This is because there tends to be increased worm burden as rain washes larvae from dung pats, warned Signet consultant David Evans at the World Sheep and Wool Congress (full report, p40).

Mr Evans said producers should also expect lamb performance to slip back under these conditions due to "green drought".

"Lambs have done very well in the last month, even though pastures appear to be very bare," said Mr Evans. "This is because lambs graze closer to the ground where the dry matter content of the diet increases and do better on the more concentrated diet.

"Even though the grass greens up after heavy rain, performance is often poorer than expected because dead litter on the soil surface rots. This can discourage sheep from grazing and intakes reduce."

Mr Evans suggested producers should provide molasses for lambs which needed to be pushed on for finishing. "Energy in a diet helps flesh lambs, whereas protein increases frame size," he said.

Signet consultant David Evans warns against the effect of "green drought" on lamb performance.