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Sheep death and loss of production associated with flystrike in mature Merino and crossbred ewes


Horton, BJ and Corkrey, R and Doughty, AK, Sheep death and loss of production associated with flystrike in mature Merino and crossbred ewes, Animal Production Science, 58, (7) pp. 1289-1296. ISSN 1836-0939 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 CSIRO

DOI: doi:10.1071/AN16153


In eight well-managed Australian Merino and crossbred sheep flocks the adult ewes were monitored frequently for flystrike. Occurrences of flystrike and severity of strike scores were recorded, whereas bodyweights and condition scores were recorded regularly across two wool production and reproduction cycles. In these unmulesed flocks, 17% of Merino and 5% of crossbred ewes were struck, with 2% of those struck dead within 7 days of detection of the strike. For those adult ewes that survived the immediate period of the strike, the rate of loss over the following year was slightly greater than for ewes that were never struck, particularly for those with a high severity strike. Flystrike also contributed to losses of up to 2.7 (Merino ewes) and 5.2 (crossbred ewes) kg of bodyweight, and 0.3 condition score units at the time of the strike. Bodyweights were still 2 kg lower by 3 months after the strike occurred for Merinos, although condition scores returned to average levels. For ewes struck between mating and lambing, flystrike was associated with significant losses of lambs. Flystrike at severity level 1 (light) had only minor effects on wool production, but severity score 3 (heavy) reduced clean fleece weight.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:body strike, mortality, reproduction, sheep blowfly, wool
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Animal production
Research Field:Animal protection (incl. pests and pathogens)
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Livestock raising
Objective Field:Sheep for wool
UTAS Author:Horton, BJ (Dr Brian Horton)
UTAS Author:Corkrey, R (Dr Ross Corkrey)
ID Code:127490
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2018-07-31
Last Modified:2019-03-20

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