South Africa

Health Care

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Strategic Dosing of Ewes Before Mating is Essential

Strategic drenching is a drench given at a critical time to reduce internal parasite contamination for the benefit of the treated animals.  It is important to ensure that the ewes are in optimal condition at the start and for the duration of the mating season.

  

Parasite control is very important to the health and condition of ewes, as parasites can cause the following symptoms that can negatively affect conception:

  • Loss of blood (especially wireworm) – reduced vitality (loss of weight and condition and even mortalities)
  • Loss of appetite/less grazing time – reduced feed intake (loss of weight and condition) 
  • Diarrhoea  (loss of weight and condition)
  • Irritation – caused by nasal bot (loss of weight and condition)
  • Loss of optimal liver function – caused by liver fluke 
    • reduced protein and energy metabolism (loss of weight and condition)
    • reduced hormonal metabolism (delayed oestrus, poor quality ova/conception)
    • reduced storage of trace minerals (decrease in conception and embryo survival)
  • Pasture contamination (shedding of eggs) – increased parasite burden
  • Pressure on immune system – reduces efficacy of vaccinations and general well being

Any loss of weight or condition prior to and during the mating season can be detrimental to the conception rate and fecundity (number of twins). Cleaning the ewes of internal parasites and keeping them clean during mating will be of assistance in achieving a good conception rate. 

A product with a residual action that prevents reinfestation, will have the benefit of keeping the ewes free of parasites during the mating season. Handling of the ewes during mating must be avoided as far as possible, as the stress related to handling and treatment, may lead to the resorption of embryos. A reduction in the conception rate and eventually the lambing percentage is not what we can afford!

A strategic dose before the start of the mating season can complement the effect of flush feeding and the before mating trace mineral (Multimin®) top-up to maximize conception.  As with any drenching, it is recommended that vaccination against pulpy kidney is done prior to treatment (especially if vaccination was performed longer than 6 months prior to drenching) 

 

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