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Safeguarding sheep health and protecting them against common challenges such as infectious diseases, parasites, nutritional imbalances, and poor reproductive performance is paramount to ensuring productivity, profitability, and welfare. These require producers to stay vigilant and proactively implement strategic measures. In this article, we will review key animal health concerns and preventative approaches that not only maintain the health and wellbeing of sheep but also contribute to the long-term resilience of the Australian sheep farming sector.
Nutrition is critical to the growth and fertility of sheep, but did you know that many grazing livestock suffer from nutritional imbalances? Suboptimal levels of energy, protein, macrominerals, trace minerals, and vitamins can lead to suboptimal growth and fertility and increase the risk of infectious diseases and parasites. One critical aspect often overlooked is trace mineral supplementation.
Multimin for Sheep is a trace mineral injection containing copper, selenium, zinc and manganese, that can significantly improve the productivity of your flock. Multimin provides fast and targeted delivery of specific trace minerals that can support high demand periods such as joining, pregnancy and weaning1. Recent published field trials2 have shown that using Multimin Plus Copper Injection for Sheep pre-joining and pre-lambing in ewes can boost the number of lambs marked by an average of 9% and increase the weaning weight by an average of 2.3 kg. Based on these results, producers could expect an additional $23 per ewe, which is a 6:1 return on investment!
Infectious diseases pose a considerable risk to sheep farming, and while many producers are familiar with clostridial diseases, understanding the true importance of vaccination—particularly with compliance to good vaccination practices and the importance of booster doses—can make all the difference.
Clostridial diseases, such as tetanus, pulpy kidney, black disease, and malignant oedema, can be lethal, so prevention is essential for maintaining flock health and productivity. Incorporating vaccinations into a comprehensive preventative health program ensures optimal protection against these diseases.
Websters 6in1 B12 vaccine offers protection against five major clostridial diseases plus cheesy gland3. The new 50-day broached pillow pack claim provides flexibility, allowing you to use open packs for booster shots at weaning, leading to reduced vaccine wastage. To achieve full protection through high antibody levels, it's crucial to administer a first vaccination at marking followed by a booster vaccination to lambs at weaning and to ewes pre-lambing yearly.
Studies have shown that the administration of Multimin concurrently with vaccines, including clostridial vaccines can improve the animal’s response to vaccination and can speed up vaccine responses4-7. Using Multimin for Sheep at the same time* as a clostridial vaccine like Websters 6in1 B12 is the best strategy to boost the health and performance of sheep flocks.
*Multimin can be administered concurrently with other animal health products. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian. DO NOT MIX products with Multimin in the same syringe prior to administration.
Parasites are another major issue for sheep farmers. They can suppress appetite, take blood or nutrients, and reduce the growth and fertility of your sheep. Unfortunately, many parasites of sheep are difficult to control due to both chemical resistance and constant re-exposure to new parasite burdens from the paddock.
While there are various sheep drenches available in the Australian market, each with their unique formulations and benefits, it is essential to consider the efficacy, potency, and persistence of these products in addressing worm control. The broad range of options can be overwhelming, but one product that stands out is Tridectin.
Tridectin is the only Moxidectin containing three-way combination drench in Australia, featuring a unique micellar formulation and contains Moxidectin, Albendazole (white drench), and Levamisole (clear drench)8. This special formulation offers improved stability and rapid absorption of the three actives into the bloodstream.
Moxidectin is the most potent and persistent macrocyclic lactone (ML) available for worm control in sheep. Ongoing testing, using faecal egg count reduction tests (FECRTs), confirms Tridectin’s efficacy, boasting 98% national average efficacy against major worms and outperforming Abamectin-triple drenches.
The reason for this superiority lies in Moxidectin's molecular structure. As a smaller molecule than Abamectin, it enters the body more quickly and remains there for longer, rapidly spreading to blood and tissues within hours of application. This allows it to start killing parasites fast, exposing parasites to Moxidectin much quicker and for an extended period. Tridectin offers 14 days of persistent activity against Barber's pole and small brown stomach worm, assisting to reduce the larval infestation on pasture and improve production.
Furthermore, moxidectin has no known impact on dung beetle populations, which allows the beetles to continue their important role in moving nutrients from dung pats back into the pasture and improving pasture growth rates by 30%. This reduces parasite burdens by 9-fold through removing breeding grounds for parasites. So, if you want an effective worm control agent that uses the most potent, persistent and sustainable active ingredient available, then Tridectin may be the right choice for you. The short withholding periods (7 days meat, 17 days ESI) also offer additional flexibility to market your sheep.
Adopting a comprehensive approach to sheep health is vital for the wellbeing and productivity of your flock. Implementing a combination of injectable trace mineral supplementation, effective parasite control, and protection against infectious diseases can significantly enhance your sheep operation. Integrating products such as Multimin, Tridectin, and Websters 6in1 B12 vaccine into your sheep management plans can help address these key health concerns, creating a strong foundation for a healthy, thriving flock, ultimately contributing to a more successful and sustainable sheep farming operation.
DOUBLE POINTS OFFER APRIL* – During the month of April, Nutrien Rewards customers will receive double points for all purchases of Multimin Plus Copper Injection for Sheep (500 mL), Multimin Copper Free Injection for Sheep and Cattle, Tridectin (10 L) or Websters 3 in 1 B12 or 6 in 1 B12 Vaccine (500 mL) from any Nutrien Ag Solutions store that is part of the Nutrien Rewards Program. Points will be applied to the Member’s Nutrien Rewards account the following month. Please see the Nutrien Rewards Terms and Conditions for more details.
VIRBAC SHEEP PRODUCTIVITY PACK CASHBACK OFFER* – Want to score yourself up to $300 cashback with your purchase of Multimin, Tridectin or Websters Sheep Vaccines? Head over to au.virbac.com/targetsheeppromo for more information.
*Multimin used in this trial contained different levels of minerals compared to those registered in Australia and or was evaluated in species other than sheep.
Benefits outlined in scientific trials are not necessarily registered label claims.
*Starts 9:00 AM AEDT 1/3/2023. Ends 5:00 PM AEST 30/6/2023. Open to Australian residents 18+ who fulfill the entry requirements by purchasing eligible products (including Multimin Evolution Injection for Cattle†, Cydectin Platinum Pour-On for Cattle, Cydectin Long Acting Injection for Cattle and/or Websters Vaccines 5 in 1 B12 or 7 in 1 Injection) in specified quantities outlined, in any store, retain the receipt, visit au.virbac.com/targetbeefpromo and complete the details. Gift Cards will be issued while stocks last, total prize pool $64,950. Promoter is Virbac Australia. ABN 77 003 268 871. 361 Horsley Road Milperra NSW 2214. Authorised under NSW Authority No. TP/02353. For full T&Cs, please refer to au.virbac.com.
**To be eligible for the Multimin Plus Copper Injection for Sheep 500 mL, Multimin Copper Free Injection for Sheep and Cattle 500 mL, Tridectin 10 L, Websters 3 in 1 B12 or 6 in 1 B12 vaccine 500 mL Double Points offer, the Nutrien Rewards Member must purchase Multimin Plus Copper Injection for Sheep 500 mL, Multimin Copper Free Injection for Sheep and Cattle 500 mL, Tridectin 10 L, Websters 3 in 1 B12 or 6 in 1 B12 vaccine 500 mL from any Nutrien Ag Solutions store that is part of the Nutrien Rewards Program between 1 April 2023 and 30 April 2023 (inclusive) using their Nutrien Account. This promotion is valid to Nutrien Rewards Members Nationally. Points will be applied to the Member’s Nutrien Rewards account in the following month. Please see Nutrien Rewards Terms & Conditions for more details.
†Multimin Evolution can be administered concurrently with other animal health products. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian. DO NOT MIX products with Multimin Evolution in the same syringe prior to administration. Always inject high on the neck, multiple injections should preferably be given on different sides of the neck, according to product label instructions.
The information provided in this article is intended as a guide only. Information contained in this article has been provided by the manufacturer and although Nutrien Ag Solutions has taken all due care to provide accurate information in this article, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date you read it, or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. You should not rely on the information in this article, and it should not be considered advice. You should seek professional advice regarding relevant factors specific to your situation, such as planting times and environmental conditions. This article does not take into account variable conditions such as climactic conditions, soil type and individual circumstances that may impact performance. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Nutrien Ag Solutions Limited and its related associated entities will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by any person arising out of any reliance on any information contained in this article.