i am not exactly new to permaculture or visiting this forum, but i am new to posting here.
i will start by giving you guys a brief sum-up of where i am at with things regarding this, which may help you guys to better answer this question as it pertains to me, but i will put it in italics so that folks who pop on here with general questions regarding holistic treatment for worms and parasites in sheep can just hop over it to what is pertinent to them.
finally after much dreaming etc we bought a farm (western central NH), land, put up fences and have sheep. my plan was to get all my facilities up, fences up, pastures set up for rotational grazing, animal quarters, get my raised beds in and then get animals... but in the usual fashion, things did not go according to plan. basically, a group of sheep, the breed i was set on, from a person i like and trust needed a quick home and i got them for a song.... delivered, so...
here i am with sheep and bumbling around them trying to get everything else up...
right now we have 8 Navajo Churro ewes on 2 acres of pasture while we are building a combination sheep shelter, laying chicken house, seed starting solarium in the center of the pasture. the plan is to radiate portable fencing out from there to quarter off that 2 acres for rotation while i can finish getting the other 7 acres of pasture fencing up.
so far i have been very impressed with the sheep, they group up and graze very tight and pretty much poop and pee in that spot and move on, not touching that spot for near a week, so as far as i can see they seem to have some instinct left to responsibly rotate themselves, they also have great character for sheep, lots of personality especially compared to the ambulatory plants that most sheep act like. i also noticed that when it has rained for a couple of days they like to eat pine needles, and i am wondering if this is a response to help deal with parasites, they seem to not eat them on the dryer days, or at least not as much.
all sheep are acting perfectly normal, but i found a strange poop. there was a long foot and a half string of clear yellow mucus encapsulating perfectly formed sheep pellets. the mucus was pretty strong and somewhat thick. no signs of blood, no worm segments, etc. sheep are all acting perfectly fine. my wife and i did a fairly thorough walk around the pasture and all other poop looked normal at least as far as i know. with some other digging on the internet i found some folks saying that this is basically not from parasites, but this was the result of the sheep eating a plant that they should have avoided, and this will go away...
i wondered if any of you guys had any thoughts or experience. anything is appreciated. if i find another one i will bring it to the vet. thankyou! i attached a picture of the girls, not sure if it will work
in addition to all that, anyone have any general recommendations on holistic worm and parasite control?
i have heard that applecider vinegar mixed with garlic as a sheep drench works, honey, as well as copper oxide pellets, but i never found any specifics as to what parasites etc. i am putting a little aside to invest in a microscope, so i can actually see the results from these when i run into problems, and i will share the results on here. of course i did try to start with a sheep that was known for parasite resistance, but i am not sure how far that will go. i would more than prefer to avoid pharm things like ivermectin...
Location: nh (zone 4)
posted 7 years ago
welp, i talked to the local vet here and she said it is likely that one of them just ate something that it should otherwise avoid. i will bring in a sample if it happens again.
i will talk to my sister (vet student) and see what she thinks when she gets back from here internship in germany.
so that sortof gets that one out of the way, in the mean time i am going to look into some ovine anatomy and see what i can find, i have a lot of books, maybe i will turn up an actual explanation, it may be a while before i get around to finding it though. busy busy.