WRML.  ecology of worms and practical implications for worm control  time soon to drench for liver fluke!
or to the ‘Program’ for your area.
This table will take 5 minutes to read.
It will be the best 5 minutes you spend today. 🙂
I also plan to share with you some more really cool/useful info on worm ecology (cattle and sheep worms) (Thanks JB).
(Thanks Matt Falconer for (inadvertently) prompting me to write this…)
We are coming up to the most important liver fluke drench of the year: the April/May fluke drench. (Thanks for the reminder Gareth K 🙂
Which drench? the most effective one you have on this occasion. Probably a triclabendazole-based one. Another option (cattle only) is Nitromec(R). (www.virbac.com.au).
Timing: essentially when overnight temps are heading well south of 10 degrees overnight (becoming frosty) i.e. conditions when liver fluke can’t complete its life cycle as F. hepatica eggs are relatively cold-intolerant, like Haemonchus eggs. But! like the infective stage (L3 larvae) of Haemonchus, the metacercariae (infective stage) of fluke produced in warmer times (autumn) can survive over winter (albeit in declining numbers), especially if it is moist. (source: J Boray).
‘Don’t know if you have fluke? Now is a good time to test. Remember that liver fluke has a patchy distribution over a property (determined by where its intermediate host snails can survive and reproduce), so some mobs may not have fluke, depending on your grazing management and drenching history.
Pee wees and liver fluke
An aside: my ornithologist wife tells me that pee wees (aka magpie-lark, mud-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) ) are said to eat the intermediate host snail (lymnaeid snails) of liver fluke. (Source: Every Australian Bird Illustrated).
This Australian bird was listed among the drongos (Dicruridae) (this will amuse our ‘Kiwi’ readers), but has been placed in a new family of Monarchidae (monarch flycatchers) since 2008 (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magpie-lark ) (Monarch….yes, Australians are regal 🙂