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Faecal dry matter and nematode infection in parasite-resistant Merino sheep in Australia

  • A R Williams (a1), L J E Karlsson (a2), D G Palmer (a2), P E Vercoe (a1), I H Williams (a1), J C Greeff (a2) and D L Emery (a3)...

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Scouring (diarrhoea) is a major concern for sheep producers as the accumulation of faecal material (dags) around the breech pre-disposes sheep to flystrike. Scouring occurs when the consistency of faeces is fluid with a low percentage of dry matter. In temperate areas such as the southern half of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, scouring is associated with ingestion of parasitic nematode larvae, mainly Teladorsagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus colubriformis (Larsen et al., 1994). Breeding sheep to be resistant to these nematodes is a sustainable parasite-control strategy due to reduced reliance on chemical treatment. However, in adult sheep, scouring appears equally prevalent in resistant animals and, in some environments, is even more severe than in susceptible sheep (Karlsson et al., 2004). In this experiment, we investigated how faecal dry matter (FDM) in sheep from a flock bred for resistance to parasitic nematodes changed when challenged with infective larvae. We expected that FDM would be lower in challenged sheep compared to unchallenged controls, and FDM would also be lower in sheep with high dag scores compared to sheep with low dag scores.

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Karlsson, L.J.E, Pollott, G.E, Eady, S.J and Greeff, J.C. 2004. Animal Production in Australia, 25, 100–103.
Larsen, J.W.A, Anderson, N, Vizard, A.L, Anderson, G.A and Hoste, H. 1994. Australian Veterinary Journal, 71, 365–372.

Faecal dry matter and nematode infection in parasite-resistant Merino sheep in Australia

  • A R Williams (a1), L J E Karlsson (a2), D G Palmer (a2), P E Vercoe (a1), I H Williams (a1), J C Greeff (a2) and D L Emery (a3)...

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