Maximising survival

Efficiency is the way to go

What times we are in. At least the world still has to eat! We are lucky to be in this industry, producing quality food that customers want and need. What we need, is to produce more of it and as efficiently as possible. What you do not need, is anything that undermines this efficiency.
Approaching pre-lamb, ewe condition and feed availability are set. What are the levers you can pull now to maximise your lamb output this season? Maximising survival is number one. All ewes should receive a clostridial vaccination 2–4 weeks pre-lamb to ensure they have boosted antibody levels to protect the ewe and her lambs. After nutrition, the biggest cause of lambs failing to thrive is parasites.₁
Low-grade parasite infections can also affect ewes, resulting in lowered milk production and increased weight loss. It is the daily intake of parasite larvae that causes these production effects.₂, ₃. Every mouthful of grass contains larvae which the immune system must deal with, wasting protein in the process. This has a knock-on effect for the lambs – with slower growing lambs being on farm longer, further contaminating the farm with more larvae. So… what to do?
Low body condition score (<BCS 3) ewes, those carrying multiples, or younger ewes are examples of those that would respond well to a longer acting drench treatment. This still allows for plenty of refugia by not treating the ewes that can deal with parasites better i.e. those in BCS 3 or better, and single-bearing ewes.
If you prefer not to use long-acting products, then using a medium-acting product is a good option. Medium acting products such as Cydectin® Injection and Eweguard® can deliver 5 weeks’ worm protection against Teladorsagia circumcincta, the most important parasite in spring. These products have a high effective dose and shorter worm selection and meat withholding periods, than the longer acting injections or capsules. Medium acting products can deliver production benefits while having less impact on drench resistance than the longer acting products.
New Zealand trials have shown Eweguard-treated ewes produced heavier lambs (4.6kg more lamb weaned per ewe) than those left untreated.₄ This is due to its 35-day protection against Teladorsagia, allowing that precious protein to be used for milk production instead of immunity to fight worms.
Cydectin Injection has the same worm protection as Eweguard, but without the vaccine component, and is extremely good value at around $1.00/ewe for 35 days’ cover. 
For further information, contact your Farmlands Technical Field Officer or the friendly team at your local Farmlands store.

1. Beef + Lamb NZ, R&D, December 2006.
2. Leyva, V., Henderson, E., Sykes, A. The effect of daily infection with O. circumcincta larvae on the performance of pregnant and lactating sheep. Proceedings of the NZ Society of Animal Production, 1981.
3. McAnulty, R., Familton, A., Sykes, A. Effects of daily larval challenge on the performance of breeding ewes from late pregnancy to post weaning. Proceedings of the NZ Society of Animal Production, 1991.
4. Zoetis data on file.
Article supplied by Zoetis New Zealand Limited.

Tel: 0800 963 847; Cydectin and Eweguard are registered trademarks of Zoetis. ACVM Nos. A5979, A7302, A9122