Friday, January 8, 2010

Waiting for a Package

The UPS guy came today and I was really excited that the package I have been waiting for had arrived but it turned out to be hinges for John. I am hesitant to disclose what I am waiting for -for all of my family and friends will now be convinced that I am truly beyond hope.

O.K. I am waiting for a fecal egg count kit. But really if you read on you will understand. When raising sheep, the issue that stands far above the rest is worms or at least it is what is on all sheep farmers minds. So, there are many ways one can approach the issue but 98.9% of all sheep farmers rely on 2 or 3 chemical medications given at regular intervals not knowing if their sheep have worms or not. Now, as with many human medications such as antibiotics, the medications are no longer as effective as they once were because of over use. At the sheep symposium last year one of the speakers talked about this new approach to determine if sheep needed to be wormed before worming ( a real breakthrough). You look at the color under the sheep's eye lid. Then you compare it to a chart to determine if your sheep are likely to have an overload of worms. Sounds good doesn't it? But the problem is some people think it isn't too accurate or easy to use. So they continue giving the same over used chemical medication on a regular schedule not knowing what the worm load is. You are probably all wondering why the sheep farmers don't do a fecal egg count to see what the worm load is (like we all did when our kids ate dirt and got worms). The lab work cost too much to have a vet do it on a regular basis, sheep don't have health insurance, and farmers don't like to do it themselves.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that there are many ways to treat sheep. But the problem is they all entail spending time. Time to research, time to educate yourself on safer better methods, time to carry out recommendations, time to evaluate your sheep and probably more time I am not aware of.

Why do so many humans do what they know is not best because what they know is better takes too much time or is too inconvenient? Comments welcome.

I will admit that I am among the many but not when it comes to my sheep.

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