Pumpkin . . . Fall 2011

Pumpkin . . . Fall 2011

Friday, July 2, 2010

Elimination of Barberpole - Confirmed

My fecals today came back negative for barberpole. Bill Newcombe, our vet, confirmed this today.

I am hoping that this means this parasite has been eliminated from our farm.

I am so excited because so many, many sheep can now be saved by using my method based on the PJ Waller Study cited in prior posts.

Icelandic sheep have no experience to Barberpole Worm . . . . there is no way you can breed for resistance to barberpole 'unless' you have many, many generations exposed to this parasite. Most top North American Icelandic sheep breeders use Semen from Southram in Iceland - so the traits that we are looking for cannot be found from Icelandic semen and can only be found from rams born and bred in North America for many, many generations.

The study I followed is one way to eliminate this parasite. Also very important is to make sure that you have the proper mineral balance and correct any deficiencies.

We need to use supplemental copper on our farm as our soils have very poor levels. Last year I started giving a few of my sheep a 2.5 gram copper wire bolus in the middle of the summer and noticed a huge difference in fleece color and parasite loads. Silvering on darker fleeces ended and everyone just seemed healthier.

This year I did a combination of both the PJ Waller, et. all. study as well as copper supplementation.

I am planning to write up an article about this later this summer (when parasite season is finally over), I will be sending another fecal to my vet in August and will post the final results then.

I am hoping that my experiences will enrich others in their shepherding. The happiness and health of my ewes, two rams and all our growing lambs have been worth all the hard work of the last four years.

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