With summer nearly here and the weather warming up, it is important to worm your fat lambs effectively. If you have already wormed your lambs, are you sure your wormer has worked effectively? With increasing resistance to wormers reported across the industry, Steph is here to tell us more about faecal worm egg counts.

It is important to test if worming is required by sending in regular faecal samples from at least 10 animals for a VetTech to perform a Faecal Egg Count (FEC) before you worm your lambs. It is useful to send in a follow-up sample 14 days post worming; except if you have used those from the yellow group, “levamisoles” which is 7 days post worming. If this “post-worming” FEC does not show a 95% reduction of worm eggs, then there is a resistance problem in your flock. Our SQP’s and vets will be able to advise you on the most effective and appropriate worming plan for your farm using your results.

Resistance is a big problem.

Ineffective wormers cost the sheep industry £84 million a year. This includes extra feed and time needed to get lambs to finishing weights.

White group wormers (Benzimidazoles) are the most commonly used wormers against Nematodirus in lambs. However, they have 94% resistance on the majority of farms in the UK. Yellow wormers (Levamisoles) have 68% resistance and 50% resistance is found in clear wormers (Ivermectins). New cases of resistance are also being found in the newest worming group, the Orange wormers. With increasing levels of resistance, it is critical to plan ahead and prevent this causing a problem on your farm.

The VetTechs are currently running an offer of a “half price post-worming FEC” when following a pre-worming FEC. The benefits of using regular Faecal Egg Counts:

  • Diagnose worm issues sooner – which will reduce production losses.
  • Estimate the level of infection – which will allow you to monitor the need to worm saving you time and money.
  • Allow you to target the timing of dosing – improving the effectiveness of treatment and productivity.
  • Monitor whether the treatment has worked – do you need to dose again sooner or use a different product.
  • Detect worm resistance.
Faecal Worm Egg Counts can help reduce wormer resistance