Just trying to catch up on a few collections of photos from around the homestead!
It was worming day awhile back… Honestly, it was almost two weeks ago! We like to worm when the grass just starts to get growing and the bugs just start to come out and all. My thoughts are that anything that was growing in the sheepies and goats and such, needs to get flushed out while it’s still cold enough to kill the stuff out of the hosts. Because wormers really don’t kill worms in livestock, they just flush them out of their system by paralyzing the little buggers and then they loosen their hold on the host. Fun, eh? The things you learn when you go rural!
It’s a good idea as well to mix up your wormers, so that the little nasties don’t get resistant to your efforts. Rotational grazing and pasture space helps as well. With only three acres, however, we don’t have a ton of pasture space, so we make sure to keep a good eye on our critters. There are several ways to know if your animals have a heavy parasite load. Best way, a fecal test done by your vet. We try and get those once a year if possible. It can get a little pricey to do every single animal, so what I try and do is get sample from each group, sheep, goats, hogs and ponies and then have our vet do a random sampling of that poo and it gives me a good overall conditional of the animals. If one or two sheep have them, it’s pretty much a given that the others do as well.
Another way is to just score the overall conditional of the animals. Thin, scraggly looking animals tend to have a higher worm load. It robs the animal of good vitality. Also, animals with high parasite loads are often anemic. You can tell by looking at the membranes of their eyes and in their mouthes, their gums. Super pale, white membranes means anemic animals and most likely parasites.
We have been very lucky! Our loads are very low… and mostly, it is the goats. I am convinced that goats are born with parasites and there is actually evidence that says so. I am very careful to make sure the goats get regular wormings whether they need it or not! (Well, I do check, but they just always seem to need it.)
We learned a very fun way to worm everyone! We call it worming day, the animals call it weirdly tasting fig newton day! They absolutely love fig newtons. I guess it’s the fruit, the cookie, they are just yummy to everyone. So we give them out here and there. But a time or two a year, they have a little extra special cream filling! Yes, wormer. I just push the nozzle in and wiggle it a bit to make a hole in the filling. And then squeeze in the dose. The hogs need two cookies for their doses, but everyone else just needs one.
Yum yum yum!!! Everyone is so greedy to get their cookie, they don’t seem to mind the weird filling. Or at least, those cookies disappear so fast, maybe they don’t even have time to know! All I know is that it beats trying to shove the thing in their mouths while they protest loudly! Works so much better for gal and beast!
We prime the pump with a little free animal cracker treats and pretty much everyone is very ready for their dose!!!
Iris thinks it’s lip licking good! Yum!
The ponies will take their dose as well with a cookie, but they also don’t mind just getting it shot into their mouth. Their wormer is actually pretty good tasting, I guess, apple flavored. They really don’t seem to mind it and would probably eat more if allowed.
This is a pouty pony. He is mad that he didn’t get more than 3 cookies. (The wormer is by weight! Ponies get three special creme cookies!) He was very sad. But then I broke out the animal crackers and offered the pouty pony a few and he was happy again. Shadow is a big diva.
Kitties and doggies get wormed in the big house and they get it in their wet food so they never know! Because no one loves a wormy pet! Ugh!!! Luna disapproves of this sneaky tactic, however. No one should ever be allowed to compromise tuna. Nope.
Evee was very helpful in worming day, she is really trying to be a good farm doggie! She’ll never compete in sheep trials, but it’s amazing how smart she is and how much she has just learned on her own. Because you know, we are not sheep dog trainers! It just must be some natural talent in these herding dogs… they just have an idea and they go with it! Fun stuff!Pin It