Our fecals came back for August. 100 eggs were found so that means there are still some barberpole out there but they are no where near where we were at 1 year ago. I nearly lost both my Hunnie and Saltie last year. Many of my ewes were very pale in July and August last year. I ended up worming everyone towards the middle of August. This year Saltie has shown "red" eye membranes all summer and so has Hunnie who is growing out wonderfully (and although she will not be as big as her Lodi Mom Pip - she will be close:)
Out of 40 sheep this week, there were four borderlines which I wormed. These sheep were primarily ewes and lambs from meat conformation AI backgrounds.
I read so much from other shepherds about this month as the "Killing Time". Heat stress along with parasites will kill a sheep very, very fast. In this time of year optimal grazing is very, very, important during the early and later part of the day with heat relief as in a cool barn or shaded "sheep shed with fans" during the hottest part of the day. Our Icelandic lambs have nearly 6-8" of fleece at this time of year . . . a cool respite is a must. If a cool shelter during the heat of the day cannot be given ~ then I believe you are raising the wrong kind of sheep and should look at the Barbados Blackbelly or the Katahdin sheep breeds. Eye Membranes need to be checked weekly during the months of July, August and September.
A promise that I made to the editors of the ISBONA newsletter will be undertaken next month. I will be repeating our last winter doses of Ivermectin as we are acquiring another ram from the farm which we bought all of our wonderful foundation ewes - The Lavender Fleece. I want to give this study one more year to be on the safe side.
I thank god every day for giving us such beautiful, intelligent and healthy sheep. In the four years that I have been a shepherd - I have not lost a sheep to parasites or disease. I love this breed of sheep dearly and I hope that other shepherds can learn from my experiences and instead of looking at the month of August as the "Killing Time" . . . . they will be looking at this month as the "Healthy Weaning Time".