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Treat your Ewes and Protect your Lambs

Protect your lambs by treating ewes at or around lambing. From two weeks pre lambing until six weeks post lambing ewes are more likely to shed worm eggs due to decreased immunity. This is known as the ‘spring rise’ and can contaminate the pasture and greatly affect lambs.Reducing the risk of lambs becoming infected reduces the disease risk and allows lambs to thrive.

There are many products available to help with the control of parasites; getting the most from their active ingredients is key in ensuring ideal livestock performance and reducing risk of resistance. When choosing products for your livestock farm’s needs it is important to make an informed choice. Incorporating a rotating regimen of active ingredients in your health plan will help to minimise the risk of anthelmintic resistance. This should be discussed with your animal health adviser.

A 2017 study3 found that injecting ewes with a long-acting moxidectin such as zermex®, led to low worm egg counts in lambs throughout the study period. Comparatively, ewes that were left un-treated or dosed with a short-acting wormer showed higher worm egg counts in lambs.
The long-acting group showed reduced pasture contamination and higher lamb growth rates. Between shearing and weaning when lambs were grazing, lambs from ewes treated with the long-acting product had numerically2 improved growth rates; they outgrew the untreated control lamb group by 1.7kg and the short-acting group by 0.7kg. Which could
equate to an additional £3 per lamb, in a 60-day period.

The low egg counts in the lambs from the ewes treated with
long-acting moxidectin resulted in a reduced need to treat. Less treatment saves money, lowers work-load, reduces the stress on the lambs and therefore lowers the overall cost of production.

1at £1.77/kg liveweight (in a 60 day period vs lambs from untreated ewes3).
2 P Value = 0.156.
3 Kerr et al 2017 A practical farm-based trial to compare ewe nematode control
strategies in periparturient ewes, in press.
All ZERMEX® brands contain moxidectin, POM-VPS. For further information see the SPC, farmers should contact their animal medicines supplier SQP, veterinary surgeon or Downland Marketing Ltd, 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW. Use medicines responsibly: AH083/18

7th February 2018

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