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Low worm risk paddocks - do it now!

By Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Operations Manager

February 2016


Whether summer or winter rainfall areas, or prime lamb or wool production systems, now is a key time to be taking action on low worm-risk paddocks.

Low worm-risk or ‘clean’ paddocks reduce the exposure of your most susceptible sheep to worms and improve growth, milk production and survival. This is equally important for Merino and prime lamb systems and is a very important way to get good control over worm infections.

In southern winters, Merino weaners may experience low growth rates and are very susceptible to worms. Clean winter weaner paddocks reduce exposure to worms and result in better growth and increased survival. Likewise, in summer rainfall areas, clean weaning paddocks assist young lambs, which are often weaned during the high risk barber’s pole worm season.  Clean lambing paddocks help to limit the increase in spring barber’s pole worm populations that may lead to deaths over summer and autumn.

WormBoss provides instructions to create low worm-risk weaner and lambing paddocks for southern and summer rainfall regions

Prime lambs can certainly withstand the effects of worms better than Merinos. When these animals are in good condition and growing well on good pastures, worms only have a low impact on growth. But if pastures do not support good growth rates then the problems caused by worms get much larger.

Even exposure to low levels of scour worms causes sheep to mount an immune response; this reduces weight gain and milk production suffers, especially in the animals with higher nutritional needs—lambs and twin-bearing ewes.

In summer rainfall areas, now is the time to start preparing low worm-risk lambing paddocks.

In winter rainfall areas, a second summer drench should be given if indicated by a worm test—this drench can be used in conjunction with smart grazing to prepare winter weaner paddocks.

To achieve effective worm control, including how to prepare low worm-risk paddocks, see Your Program in Wormboss to find out what to do and when to do it.