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Overberg Research Projects. VIII. The productivity of Merino ewes subjected to different internal parasite control programmes in the winter rainfall region of South Africa

, : Overberg Research Projects. VIII. The productivity of Merino ewes subjected to different internal parasite control programmes in the winter rainfall region of South Africa. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 61(4): 163-167

Suckling Merino lambs on lucerne pasture, demonstrated no appreciable mass gain when compared with untreated controls, despite regular treatment with anthelmintics. This was ascribed to severe parasitic challenge. After weaning and transfer to wheat stubble fields with no parasitic challenge, however, the live mass of the untreated lambs, still harbouring a residual burden of nematodes, was depressed. Control sheep produced 1.2 kg less wool than regularly-treated sheep, but produced finer wool which had a higher market value. Regularly-treated ewes (F1) produced 12.1% more lambs, but their mean live mass was 2.6 kg lower than that of ewes treated less frequently. The overall financial benefit was in favour of the group which received fewer anthelmintic treatments and was due mainly to the higher market value of the finer wool produced by these apparently stressed animals.


PMID: 9022845

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