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Preparing low-risk paddocks


“Low-risk lambing paddocks” – we throw this term around a lot, but what does it mean? Well, it simply means getting your paddocks as worm-free as possible before you put your vulnerable stock on to graze. Now is a good time to start thinking about getting your lambing paddocks prepared for a Spring lambing. 

Which classes of stock are we trying to help? The vulnerable ones, which are weaner lambs, pregnant and lactating ewes. It is important to look after these two classes as their ability to mount an effective immune response and defend themselves against worms is compromised. Weaners have yet to fully develop their own immune system, while older pregnant and lactating ewes have a compromised immune response due to the demands of pregnancy and lactation.  

So how can preparing our paddocks help? Providing low-risk lambing paddocks is an important tool to help combat worms, especially the highly fecund worm, Barber's Pole. It will also help to limit your reliance on chemical drenches and thus slow down the development of resistance on your property. It does all this by providing our vulnerable classes with less exposure to worms. 

With a bit of preparation, it isn't as hard as you may think. Although the strategies might vary slightly depending on where you live, regions across Australia will still have a lot in common. You can get specific information on your region here Your Program (wormboss.com.au)

Preparing a low-risk lambing paddock needs to be done in advance as it can take up to six months depending on the environment you live in. You are aiming to spell you paddocks from infected animals to allow existing worm larvae and eggs to die off, while at the same time preventing further contamination. This doesn't mean these paddocks can't remain productive, we just have to think a little outside the box. For example, you could graze with cattle, sheep for short period following an effective drench (wethers are particularly useful here as they are naturally more resistant), or you may like to consider a crop, silage or hay making. Other alternative methods of control that lower worm burdens in sheep will help as well, such as a Barbervax program, Bioworma and selecting resistant rams  Preparing low worm-risk paddocks (wormboss.com.au)