Nematodes (roundworms) and trematodes (flatworms or flukes) cost the Australian sheep industry $369 million in 2005, with the bulk of this cost attributable to drench resistance. (1) Given that a high proportion of properties suffer with drench resistance and that new classes of drench are not yet available, it is becoming more advisable to rely less on drenching and to utilize a range of other tools to minimize worm burdens. These tools include breeding stock that are genetically worm-resistant, improved grazing management (such as Smart Grazing), and strategic nutrition.

Producers should ask themselves the following questions:

If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then you may not be managing your stock effectively.

WORMCOUNT is a service that conducts Faecal Egg Counts (FEC's) and Larval Differentiations, at substantially LOWER prices, that give Sheep, Goat, Alpaca and Llama producers vital information on the worm burden status of stock and the effectiveness of drenches being used. This information also gives producers an insight into the levels of genetic resistance to worm burdens in their stock, allowing culling of susceptible animals and consideration towards establishing a breeding program from more resistant blood-lines. Stock with greater genetic resistance to worms in turn have a lower dependence on chemical drenching, resulting in savings in time, money and labour. To get the producer's viewpoint, please read this recommendation by Mr. Martin Oppenheimer, President of the Australian Wool Growers Association, when referring to the benefits of worm resistant bloodlines.

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This page was created on ... May 20, 2009 by John Gorham and last modified Friday, 11th January 2019.

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