Yesterday the vet rang with the results of the worm egg count, and it was not good. There were 2 types of worm found; strongloides (600+) and trichostrongyle (3400+) which is really bad, but there is no record of fluke worm, which is good and a small count for cocci, which could be a result of the lambs being having such a heavy worm burden.
So the ram lambs urgently need to be wormed using a product called cydectin, then a further worm count 14 days later to ensure that we don't have a resistant variety of worm to cydectin. So the plan is to worm the lambs and leave them in the barn for a couple of days then move them to the grass in the veg plot as that has had no sheep grazing it for at least a year. Then take some more poo samples to see what the worm count is like.
In 2009 to rid our land of worms we will have to do the folowing. In the spring allow the grass to grow long enough to cut for silage as well as lime the paddocks thus altering the ph of the grass and hopefully killing the worms!!! The other alternative is to leave a paddock/field empty for 12 months which we don't have the space to do. So in 2009 we will be carrying out worm counts on a regular basis to check how we are doing.
How have we got into this situation? It looks like the ram we brought in either all ready had a resistant type of the trichostrongyle worm and has shed it's eggs in the top paddock, or the ram had no resistance to this type of worm and so has increased the worm count on our land. Hopefully with a careful worming programme and land management we should get on top of the problem.