o The Frog Blog: Controlling Sheep Parasites

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Controlling Sheep Parasites

There was a great article in the farming section of the Irish Independent last week which pupils studying Agricultural Science might find useful. Written by Michael Gottstein, the article outlines how two parasites, nematodirus and coccidiosis, affect sheep and how they can be controlled. Below is an extract from the article but click here to read in  full.
"In last week's article I outlined some of the nutritional aspects that affect lamb performance. Supplying sheep with adequate nutrients is key to achieving high levels of animal performance. But what if the sheep are unable to digest these nutrients? That's what happens when the sheep are carrying heavy parasite burdens. Once lambs start eating grass (around five weeks of age) they will start to come in contact with various parasites. These parasites live off the nutrients/ tissue in the lamb's digestive tract thereby reducing the amount of nutrients available to the lamb and in some cases causing damage to the digestive system of the lamb.Understanding which parasites cause the damage and how to control them is essential if lamb performance is to be optimised in the coming weeks.Many of this year's lamb crop will come in contact with two parasites that can cause severe illness and in some cases can even lead to the death of young lambs. The parasites that I am talking about are nematodirus and coccidiosis."

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