Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Ectoparasites  (Read 542 times)

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Ectoparasites
« on: July 02, 2024, 11:25:50 am »
Hi all! Wondering what to do about flies etc on sheep. I haven't bought any pour on, as I only have the five Shetland ewes, and no one seems to have any to spare (or be willing to spare any for a price). I'm not keen on chemical usage as I usually react horribly to these things (horses fly spray, dog flea treatment included). I check them daily (including looking through fleece), they were sheared mid May, there are red top fly traps dotted about the place, fly papers in favourite sheltered spots, and they are on a breezy pasture of about 5 acres... Am I tizzing over nothing? Do I need to apply a pour on? Are we fine as we are?! Husband has old sheep farming uncles who are horrified that I have primitive breed sheep, and I haven't doused them in chemicals, and are adamant I'm a silly girl who's going to end up with the whole lot dead, and their passive aggressive comments are starting to get in my head! Any advice is gratefully received (including grow a spine!)

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2024, 03:22:03 pm »
Prevention is better than cure with flystrike. I would always apply pour on. But that said if you can check through them thoroughly twice a day every day and be prepared to act on any struck sheep immediately you may get away with it. You may still need chemical to kill any maggots if the sheep do get struck. So maybe youíre just as well to put a preventative on first is last  :thinking:

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2024, 04:57:19 pm »
Thanks for replying! Nothing against chemicals, I've just heard tell of resistance build up etc, and people saying contradictory things about the usage of them. I have got spotinor left over from a trial with the horses (someone swore by it for flies on theirs, didn't do a thing for mine other than scabby backs!), I know that's a treatment not a preventative though. Any recommendations for a pour on?

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2024, 05:04:40 pm »
Forgot to add, I have been spraying them with Leovet Power Phaser spray that I use on the horses as I had a load of it! So they are having something, but it's obviously not ideal!

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2024, 05:48:26 pm »
I  would say you are doing a good job ,  you understand the problem and have protection in the form of traps and checking every day plus spraying  , you also have spotinor ready in case you need to treat .  This would be good practise if you were organic ,  just because farmers apply chemicals it doesn't mean they don't get flystrike  because they do

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2024, 05:55:45 pm »
I  would say you are doing a good job ,  you understand the problem and have protection in the form of traps and checking every day plus spraying  , you also have spotinor ready in case you need to treat .  This would be good practise if you were organic ,  just because farmers apply chemicals it doesn't mean they don't get flystrike  because they do

Thank you for replying! Your words are a big help. I'm not usually such a wet lettuce! Just having a crisis of confidence

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2024, 09:28:28 pm »
Thanks for replying! Nothing against chemicals, I've just heard tell of resistance build up etc, and people saying contradictory things about the usage of them. I have got spotinor left over from a trial with the horses (someone swore by it for flies on theirs, didn't do a thing for mine other than scabby backs!), I know that's a treatment not a preventative though. Any recommendations for a pour on?


I prefer Clik just because of the way it spreads to protect the whole body. But it is expensive. If youíve got spotinor thatís a good start and maybe just keeping a close eye will suffice. If you do start having problems it may be worth using a preventative pour on. 

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2024, 11:14:28 pm »
I don't use chemicals on my adults, only on susceptible lambs, and usually only if I will be away myself, to reduce the anxiety of the sheep-carers remaining! 

Shetlands are less prone to flystrike than many breeds, but any sheep can get struck.

Keeping rumps and undercarriages clean (through dagging, keeping them healthy and untroubled by worm burden, and by not having to lie on very soiled ground) is another important element of prevention.  Also being on top of any foot infections, maggots can start in the foot and spread to the body when the sheep is lying down. 

Once a day checking isn't enough if you're not using chemicals.  Twice a day minimum.  You need to be spotting any maggots starting to nibble, you can't risk them having 8+ hours feeding.  (Once they start to feed, chemicals attract other flies to lay eggs, and the population explodes very quickly.)

We do get a strike more years than not, but almost always get it when it's just one to four maggots and usually before they've really broken the skin.  It's a lot of work and stress (for us, not so much the sheep!), but as long as it's us doing the work and having the stress, and not the sheep being eaten alive, I don't mind!  If we weren't as good at spotting it and dealing with it, I'd spray the lambs once I judged them at risk, rather than have to deal with a severely struck sheep.

We had strike on the end of a tail in October one year.  I'd been away, went to have a look at the sheep. I noticed a dirty tail and thought I'd better get that dagged tomorrow, then saw the lamb jump and decided to dag it right now.  4 maggots, just breaking the skin. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2024, 06:56:52 am »
I don't use chemicals on my adults, only on susceptible lambs, and usually only if I will be away myself, to reduce the anxiety of the sheep-carers remaining! 

Shetlands are less prone to flystrike than many breeds, but any sheep can get struck.

Keeping rumps and undercarriages clean (through dagging, keeping them healthy and untroubled by worm burden, and by not having to lie on very soiled ground) is another important element of prevention.  Also being on top of any foot infections, maggots can start in the foot and spread to the body when the sheep is lying down. 

Once a day checking isn't enough if you're not using chemicals.  Twice a day minimum.  You need to be spotting any maggots starting to nibble, you can't risk them having 8+ hours feeding.  (Once they start to feed, chemicals attract other flies to lay eggs, and the population explodes very quickly.)

We do get a strike more years than not, but almost always get it when it's just one to four maggots and usually before they've really broken the skin.  It's a lot of work and stress (for us, not so much the sheep!), but as long as it's us doing the work and having the stress, and not the sheep being eaten alive, I don't mind!  If we weren't as good at spotting it and dealing with it, I'd spray the lambs once I judged them at risk, rather than have to deal with a severely struck sheep.

We had strike on the end of a tail in October one year.  I'd been away, went to have a look at the sheep. I noticed a dirty tail and thought I'd better get that dagged tomorrow, then saw the lamb jump and decided to dag it right now.  4 maggots, just breaking the skin.

That's a brilliantly detailed reply, thank you for that!
Handy to know my management isn't too bad, but always room to improve, and appreciate you taking the time to share. Looks like my best answer will be to get something and get them sprayed for extra piece of mind and carry on as is with the traps and multiple checks etc. They are just pets to be honest, under the guise of cross grazing purposes. Wonder if the cattle fly tags on a field safe collar would be an option too? They are grazed behind electric netting so no catchy bits (but breakaway collars just incase). Just trying to think of ways not to waste product by having a large amount unused and going off in future

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2024, 07:05:45 am »
I donít think the cattle tags would prevent blowfly. They are more for biting, nuscience flies that land on cattle I think.

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2024, 07:16:32 am »
I donít think the cattle tags would prevent blowfly. They are more for biting, nuscience flies that land on cattle I think.
I did wonder how well they'd work, the ingredients are the same, but it could be another costly mistake. Right! Thanks to you lovely people, I now know I would be best using something. Crovect to start, then Clik for next year. Thank you all!

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2024, 09:16:44 am »
Have a look at Barrier blowfly repellant, small crovect 1l or clik 800ml are very expensive and hard to source plus you ideally  need an applicator as well  , for 5 sheep you may not be able to use it all before the use by date

Twotwo

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2024, 04:03:44 pm »
Our vets will sell small amounts of clik or similar drugs for you to administer yourself. Could you find a friendly sheep neighbour who do it for you.

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Ectoparasites
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2024, 06:47:51 pm »
I have managed to get a small bit of crovect to do them for a couple of doses. Thanks all for your advice!

 

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