Vet Talk | To drench or not to drench?

COUNTING COST: FECs can save time and money and reduce resistance.

COUNTING COST: FECs can save time and money and reduce resistance.

If the words ‘drench herd’ are on your calendar now, consider that worm burdens vary between different classes of livestock, so it’s worth establishing what really needs drenching to save time and money and reduce drench resistance.

A worm faecal egg count (FEC) is the smart way to monitor the presence of worms in all types of livestock, and will determine whether to treat or not.

An FEC detects the number of eggs in faeces and is a fast, relatively inexpensive test that involves collecting faeces either directly from the animal’s rectum, or by mustering animals into a clean paddock corner for around 10 minutes and collecting fresh faecal samples from the ground. 

Different mobs may have different FECs so test a number of mobs. 

If and when you do drench, give the correct dose of an effective drench. To calculate the dose, weigh three larger sheep in the mob, work out the average weight, and drench to that weight.