WRML.Sheep numbers by location – Australia

To WormMail list.

Sheep numbers by location – Australia

‘No parasites in this WormMail, just hosts.

A colleague sent me this (thanks Alex): I thought it was interesting/useful. You may think so too.

(Used here with permission from the most important person in MLA (He rides a BMW. Er ist sehr klug!) 🙂 ).

I was surprised at the sheep numbers in Victoria: I thought they had more.

Victorian (‘Mexican’) readers of WRML may say they go more for quality rather than numbers.

Western Australian sheep are heavier than New England sheep. (Full of sand; and resistant Teladorsagia).

To think we once had > 150 million sheep… (and they had the vote).(Bring back gerrymandering, and a better deal for regional Australia 🙂

On that note: what’s the problem with political jokes?

They tend to get elected.

Kiwi colleagues might say that the average IQ in Australia has gone down with declining sheep numbers. But, there are a lot of Kiwis in Australia these days… 🙂

Don’t forget the NEW WormBoss. www.wormboss.com.au Constructive comments? Use the feedback form please. Thanks.


SL (it’s the caffeine talking…)

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Sheep-Numbers Map_as at June 2011.pdf

WRML. The NEW WormBoss. MLA cattle parasite atlas. Liver fluke.

To: WormMail Mailing list.

A follow up note to participants at last week’s NSW DPI Profarm Worm Egg Counting Course.

Some of this info may be of use/interest.


P.S. My apologies to DPI livestock officers on this list affected by recent DPI restructuring. It may seem like like these continuing WormMails signify it is ‘business as usual’, but I am very mindful that, as professional as you are (as witness Jason Siddell and Trevor Rose at the recent cattle health filed day), it is very difficult to act as if it is.


Hi WEC Course Participants

Further to the course on Wednesday, here is some more info.

1. New WormBoss. See below.  This is a great resource and it has been updated/expanded.   www.wormboss.com.au

2. Remember how I majored on the roundworm life cycle?  (‘If you know and understand the life-cycle, you know worm control’).   There is a nicely detailed life cycle in the NEW Wormboss, and there is a table which includes ecological information on important worms (temp requirements, longevity etc)

I found this by typing ‘lifecycle”, into the search box (even though I know it is located in the ‘regional programs’ information):

See…..     http://www.wormboss.com.au/programs/tablelands-slopes/liver-fluke-control/roundworm-life-cycle-and-larval-survival.php

Worm ecology info?  :   See…..

3. More cattle worm info.   The DPI Primefact is OK, but brief and needs a bit of updating (it’s on my to-do list)

Another good resource is the cattle parasite atlas at the MLA website.

It’s sometimes hard to find all those goodies on the MLA website (sorry Johann), so I’ll include the URL (web address).

Guidelines on strategic programs for different regions are just that: guidelines.   You might think about and test what you are doing for cattle worm control from time to time.

e.g. test to see if there is an economic benefit from routinely drenching all cattle every year (or more often) for roundworms.

Are you drenching your weaners too much or too little?

Do you know those drenches work? And, if they don’t, is it because of the route of administration, and/or due to resistance?

4. Fluke egg counts.   I know some of you were disappointed to learn that the McMaster technique we teach, using saturated salt solution (NaCl) does not work for fluke eggs, as they are too heavy.   Even if it did, you would then have the problem of differentiating liver fluke from stomach fluke eggs, for example (they are quite similar in appearance and colour).

There are some heavier solutions (eg various Zn salts) that are dense enough to float fluke eggs, but there are problems with this approach, hence the development of the sedimentation technique.  (You could also use mercury based solutions if you want to poison yourself and corrode your equipment).

The more adventurous and time-rich among you might like to look at this FlukeFinder.      http://www.flukefinder.com/        This was brought to my attention by my Qld Colleague, Maxine Lyndal-Murphy. (Unfortunately for Qld and the rest of us, she is one of the many casualties from govt. cuts). (I mentioned in yesterday’s WormMail that Maxine is one of the people behind WormBoss).

FlukeFinder uses the sedimentation technique (or something similar) that I was telling you is standard in AUS labs for counting fluke eggs.   I have no experience of this, so I can’t comment  on how good it is. (You’re on your own).

Frankly I think a better use of your time/money would be to send samples off to a lab for fluke egg counts (unless you want to develop fluke egg counting as a hobby in lieu of fishing or time at the beach).

Unlike roundworm egg counts, you don’t have to do fluke egg counts very often   (perhaps three times a year max??   eg late autumn, early Spring, summer; and perhaps after a fluke drench (28 days after) to test flukicide efficacy. (If I am wrong about this, fluke guru Dr Joe Boray will tell me in due course. (I might have to kick him off the WormMail mailing list  🙂   :-).

There are other tests for liver fluke.   There are blood tests.   See here:

And there is a ‘faecal fluke antigen test’. See here:  http://www.csu.edu.au/vetservices/vdl/services    (I could not find a direct link to this fluke test. You may have to email vdl@csu.edu.au   for more information).
I hope this helps.




Keith Urban?

Further to the reference to Keith Urban (Country and Western singer; spouse of Nicole Kidman),  one WormMail reader suggested Keith’s name should be Keith Rural?

‘Further demonstration that WormMail has a higher class of readership.  🙂