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Drench swap may be worth more than $1 per lamb

Simple drench swap may be worth more than $1 per lamb

Research suggests a simple switch to a triple action drench may be worth another $1.04 per lamb.

Resistant worms are posing a risk to lamb productivity, staying behind after animals have been dosed.

Research carried out in New Zealand suggests switching to a triple active drench is likely to boost lamb live weight, while also slowing the development of drench resistance.

Dr Justin Hurst, Veterinary Technical Services Manager for animal health care company Merial New Zealand Ltd, says any worms left behind after a drench will have potentially negative effects on productivity.

However, calculations of a potential cost, based on a five-month New Zealand trial, found an economic difference between lambs treated with an effective anthelmintic and control lambs treated with a drench to which resistance had been demonstrated. (Macchi et al 2001).
Carcass weight advantage per lamb of effective drenching over 5 months 0.6kg
Gross value @ $3.85 / kg CW $2.31
Value net of $1.27 additional cost of triple combination drench $1.04
Another study (Mulvaney 1995) also indicated economic differences.

Hurst says, on this calculation, the triple drench Triton would not only pay for itself, but make an 82% return on investment.

Recent surveys suggest that resistance to the macrocyclic lactone, or third family of drenches, may be more widespread than previously thought.

Hurst says Triton, the world’s first triple combination drench, has demonstrated high efficacy against worms resistant to drugs in this family, including moxidectin. It is also highly effective against worms resistant to either benzimadazoles or levamisole or both.

Triton was developed and tested in trials, and proven on farms, in New Zealand and Australia.


Editors please note:

Research references:

Macchi C et al. 2001. Consequences of anthelmintic resistance on live weight gain of lambs on commercial sheep properties, NZVJ 49 (2), 48-53, 2001.

Mulvaney C. 1995. An Estimation of the On-farm Cost of Drench Resistance in Growing Lambs. 25th Seminar, Society of Sheep & Beef Cattle Veterinarians NZVA. 208 – 215.

Calculations based on current schedule for 17.5kg (YX) lamb (Agri-Fax), less cost of standard oxfendazole product

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