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Author Topic: Worming lambs  (Read 460 times)


  • Joined Aug 2018
Worming lambs
« on: March 26, 2021, 10:15:31 am »
Do you have a set plan of when to start worming lambs? Appreciate they have no natural resistance built up. Am watching the nematodirus forecast but we are low risk at the moment. I have Ovidrench ready, would you treat at a certain age or when the forecast goes to medium? I am definitely planning on worming them before they are moved to a new field in a couple of weeks or so as this is when Iíll be doing the ewes too.
And the ewes - I need to fluke them again but also worm. They havenít been wormed since last year and that was with the Ovidrench. Iím aware that I should be alternating wormers to try and avoid resistance, but because I need to fluke too I was hoping to use one that does both. That means either buying a combi or using a white wormer at the worm and fluke rate. Again, appreciate these only kill down to adult so maybe not good enough for a proper fluke treatment?? They were drenched with Fasinex in Oct and Jan, and I was going to use a Closantel based product for a change now. If I used a separate worm and fluke product is it okay to give it at the same time (I donít mean mixed together)? I was also hoping to give them a vit/min drench but three things is prob too much!


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Worming lambs
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2021, 10:55:40 am »
Adult sheep that are healthy don't need routine worming more than once a year - ewes that are lambing is the only routine dose, beacsue the stres oflambing lowers their resistance and the worms ramp up egg production. So the worming is really to protect the lambs rather than the adults. And some folk don't even subscribe to that often!! I've never thought combi wormer / flukicides are a good idea beacsue you'll be treating for fluke more often than you need to worm, so you'll be overworming.
You can give a wormer and a flukicide at the same time, but not mixed as you rightly say.

Lambs don't really start eating grass until about four weeks old; takes three weeks or so for worms to be a problem, so they shouldn't need wormed before 7 weeks of age. Like you, for nematodirus, I keep an eye on the local forecast.

We usually fluke three times a year - October with triclabendazole and January and lambing with closantel. If we have a very wet summer, I'd probably do the lambs at weaning, being mindful of withdrawal periods.
If you don't have many sheep, ask your vet about wormer. We only have a few now and our vet just gives us what we need. It's more expensive per dose but less expensive in total cost and, of course, far less wasteful and we can rotate wormer more easily.


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Worming lambs
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2021, 10:59:26 am »
Speak to your vet and do faecal egg counts on both the ewes and the lambs. The ewes may not need worming, and the lambs may be affected by cocci which wonít be treated with a wormer. The fec will also tell you if nemo is an issue. I am just about to drench my lambs for cocci, yet their fec was clear for worms.

General advice is to avoid using combination drenches. If you do need to worm the ewes then leave a number untreated for worms, but they may all need fluke treatment- you canít do that if you use a combi drench. Also if you do worm, put them back on the dirty field for a few days before moving to a fresh field.

The best thing to do is speak to your vet, follow their guidance.


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Worming lambs
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2021, 01:50:09 pm »
Get FEC  done on your lambs at about 5-6 wks old looking for nemo & cocci , ewes you can do any time but you need to ask for fluke egg counts as well as worms . For fluke you treat with triclabendazole ( if no resistance )  before the new year  to cover adults /immatures down to newly hatched  then closantel or nitroxynil  for adults /immature  then in spring you can use a white wormer @ fluke rate as adults are the problem
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 01:56:14 pm by shep53 »


  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Worming lambs
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2021, 08:03:38 pm »
Shep this is what the guy in the co-op told me today, about adults being the issue. So thanks for confirming as sometimes the co-op guy talks rubbish  :D

Not sure how I can differentiate the lamb and ewe poop to get separate fecs done? I know when I spoke to the vet before they told me it would only pick up the adult fluke, not any immature ones.

I know someone who routinely worms their lambs and quotes ďwormer, wormer, wormerĒ at me! Last year I had a little guy with awful flystrike after he had a bad tummy and I blamed myself for not worming them, especially as said person told me I shouldíve been doing it. (No other lambs had a jippy tummy and I did clean him up before he moved to a new field but he obviously carried on having the runs.)


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Worming lambs
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2021, 08:39:56 pm »
The person that spoke to you who routinely worms probably has wormer resistance!! Only worm them when a faecal count tells you to. Otherwise youíll end up with wormer resistance quicker than you can say lamb chops.

Most years my lambs get a white wormer for nemo to coincide with scops forecast advice, and thatís it until the autumn when I check ewe lambs before going off to winter pasture. Just because young lambs are scouring doesnít mean worms. As I said I ran a fec at the vets on a 5 week old lamb last week- no worm eggs, no nemotadirus, but a cocci count of 130,000  :tired: If I worm them tomorrow, the lambs will carry on scouring. If I give them a drench of vecoxan (which is the plan), it should nip it in the bud, although they may need a follow up second drench in a month due to such a high count.

To get the difference between lamb and ewe poo you follow the lambs around the field till they produce what you need  :roflanim:  same with the ewes. It must always be fresh, and if you have to store it overnight before sending off, keep it in the fridge. Your vet should be able to do faecal egg counts with same day results. If not I think you can get postal tests where you post them sample to a lab to interpret.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 08:43:02 pm by twizzel »


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Worming lambs
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2021, 01:34:49 pm »
FEC picks up fluke eggs which need an adult  and then you need an egg to get immatures , so FEC is not perfect for fluke but it helps  , you can get bloods taken to tell for problem at any age  . If you have fluke eggs then you know that you have a fluke problem and can treat accordingly at different times of the year . To  get poo samples you could as said walk round watching or bring all sheep  into pens and seperate ewes & lambs so you are certain or note the difference in poo size and just collect . your poorly lamb maybe had cocci ?


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