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๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—˜๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ข๐—ณ ๐—œ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ข๐—ป ๐—ฅ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐˜€ ๐—”๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—Ÿ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐˜€



Wireworms thrive during the wet seasons posing a threat to the health of livestock. Not only do these pests cause loss in production or reproduction, these pests cause South African livestock farmers millions of rands in treatment costs.

Wireworms begin their lives as ingested larvae, feeding on their host's blood and developing into adult wireworms in the host's acidic stomach. They can lay an astonishing 10 000 eggs per day. These eggs are excreted onto pastures, where the larvae hatch and patiently await to be ingested by other sheep. This entire process takes as little as 21 days under the right conditions.


The rapid growth of the worm population quickly overwhelms the sheep and their immune systems struggle to catch up. The worms feeds on the blood and leaves the sheep anemic and weak. This parasitic existence affects all life stages of a sheep's life, with significant implications for their reproduction rate.


Rams:

Emphasis is often placed on the impact of worm burdens on ewes, but it is essential to highlight effects they have on your rams. Even though the number of ewes outweigh the number of rams in a flock, these gents are critical for reproduction. Without fertile and healthy rams, there are no lambs.


The Wireworms can damage the gastrointestinal system, cause blood loss, reduce appetite, and redirect the immune system. One of the first signs of these parasites in mature rams is a reduced libido, along with diarrhea and anemia which even with treatment could still cause the rams demise.


Liver fluke another internal parasite, reduces protein synthesis, hormone production, and storage of essential trace minerals, all impeding the production of sperm.

Nasal bot infestations rob rams of their sense of smell, rendering them unable to detect when ewes are in heat.

All these factors directly affect your profits.


Lams:

An ewes' immunity naturally declines temporarily in the last weeks of pregnancy and this decline can persist for several weeks after lambing, making the ewes heavily susceptible to infestation round lambing time. An infestation can result in reduced milk yield, inferior colostrum intake and possibly death for both ewe and lamb.

Even though lambs are still developing their immune systems and may show no clinical signs of an infestation, this can slow down their growth. This increases the time and cost required to reach slaughter weight. It can also cause permanent gut damage, which can lead to diarrhea and ultimately, death.


As Lambs are usually destined to become replacement ewes, they should really not be neglected. It is therefore essential to implement a long-term comprehensive worm control program tailored to the specific conditions of each farm. Remembering to deworm all the sheep only as needed and not on a herd basis.


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