a question for @global ovine

glensman

Member
Location
North Antrim
We had a ewe with fly strike today ( just behind the shoulder at the top of the leg) the tup she was out of was struck in the same place a couple of years ago. I would appreciate a description of the fleece type that nz farmers find less inclined towards fly strike, you touched on it on another thread, this was the first time I had seen this kind of detailed approach to this issue, to save writing an essay I can go into further details after a reply. Thanks
 

Jackson4

Member
Location
Wensleydale
Not shorn yet? I have had fly strike this year on one lamb, no pour pour on on anything, dont normally shear till august not been a bad year for flies here really though.. not sure about wool type but sh!t/footrot and bare heads biggest cause.

You not going to breed a different wool into your tups though are you. You have mules havent you? so BFL tups? Is it cause they tend to sit in the shitiest part of the field possible.
 
Last edited:

glensman

Member
Location
North Antrim
Not shorn yet? I have had one fly strike this year on one lamb, no pour pour on on anything, dont normally shear till august not been a bad year for flies here really.. not sure about wool type but sh!t/footrot and bare heads biggest cause. Have wooly types here.
Yes shorn in June, she's not a woolly type, a Texel/char. We found two lambs just freshly struck last week when I was crutching the dirty ones. We sprayed the lambs after that but we haven't sprayed the ewe's for a few years.
 
Seems a funny year, we shear early but never had any flystrike and then dipped start of july, as sell all shearlings and buyers like them dipped. Sister down the road, same land, breeds etc had problems early on. Guy who buys some of ours further south couldn't believe we didn't dip until july. Maybe with this odd weather year with really localised humidity/showers affected things?
 
We had a ewe with fly strike today ( just behind the shoulder at the top of the leg) the tup she was out of was struck in the same place a couple of years ago. I would appreciate a description of the fleece type that nz farmers find less inclined towards fly strike, you touched on it on another thread, this was the first time I had seen this kind of detailed approach to this issue, to save writing an essay I can go into further details after a reply. Thanks

As you are probably aware, we in NZ don't tolerate anything that creates work and additional costs that can be avoided by changing the sheep back towards what nature would do to assist them to survive and thrive. The desire in the UK for short tight fleeces does nothing but make sheep more attractive to flies, especially when such fleece types also produce a lot of grease (swint; made up of lanolin, other fats and oils, urea, salts and some proteins). A wool follicle generally produces around 80% of swint (to protect the fibre) and 20% wool or hair, so there is plenty of this material around to nourish fly larvae.

We can breed sheep to increase the fibre % of follicle production thereby reducesing swint%, but to avoid fly strike it is easier to alter the staple architecture to one where the fleece breathes and does not remain wet. Fleeces that hold water and become soggy for long periods get bacterial growth causing wool colouring (green, blue, yellow, orange and blood red etc.) this is party tucker for flies. Such areas as behind the shoulders, nape of neck and small of back are common places for damp wool which has a build up of fly attractive materials.

The type of fleece to avoid is where each staple is not free with cross fibres matting staples together like felt. Each staple should open from the tip down to the skin. The crimp should by uniform and the wool colour white as possible the length of the staple.

I have often discussed this with UK farmers who immediately say they don't want lambs wool splitting along their backs during cold rain. This is an extreme example of very strong woolled sheep with long plain poorly crimped and structured fleeces. Most breeds should have birth coats of at least a centimetre of crimped wool in clearly defined staples that sit upright along the back line. This type of birth coat will become more important as outdoor lambing regains popularity.
More fly resistant fleeces result from such a birth coat. So it gives the double whammy that we desire. However sellers of live sheep like tight fleece types I'm told.

The incorporation of terminal breeds with short poorly structured fleeces into the common maternal lines (such as Suffolk or Texel cross ewes) does make it harder to prevent fly strike, as terminal breeds do not have the centuries of breeding for fleece architecture as the maternal breeds, therefore more shorter and tighter (cross fibred) fleeces are seen.
 

glensman

Member
Location
North Antrim
As you are probably aware, we in NZ don't tolerate anything that creates work and additional costs that can be avoided by changing the sheep back towards what nature would do to assist them to survive and thrive. The desire in the UK for short tight fleeces does nothing but make sheep more attractive to flies, especially when such fleece types also produce a lot of grease (swint; made up of lanolin, other fats and oils, urea, salts and some proteins). A wool follicle generally produces around 80% of swint (to protect the fibre) and 20% wool or hair, so there is plenty of this material around to nourish fly larvae.

We can breed sheep to increase the fibre % of follicle production thereby reducesing swint%, but to avoid fly strike it is easier to alter the staple architecture to one where the fleece breathes and does not remain wet. Fleeces that hold water and become soggy for long periods get bacterial growth causing wool colouring (green, blue, yellow, orange and blood red etc.) this is party tucker for flies. Such areas as behind the shoulders, nape of neck and small of back are common places for damp wool which has a build up of fly attractive materials.

The type of fleece to avoid is where each staple is not free with cross fibres matting staples together like felt. Each staple should open from the tip down to the skin. The crimp should by uniform and the wool colour white as possible the length of the staple.

I have often discussed this with UK farmers who immediately say they don't want lambs wool splitting along their backs during cold rain. This is an extreme example of very strong woolled sheep with long plain poorly crimped and structured fleeces. Most breeds should have birth coats of at least a centimetre of crimped wool in clearly defined staples that sit upright along the back line. This type of birth coat will become more important as outdoor lambing regains popularity.
More fly resistant fleeces result from such a birth coat. So it gives the double whammy that we desire. However sellers of live sheep like tight fleece types I'm told.

The incorporation of terminal breeds with short poorly structured fleeces into the common maternal lines (such as Suffolk or Texel cross ewes) does make it harder to prevent fly strike, as terminal breeds do not have the centuries of breeding for fleece architecture as the maternal breeds, therefore more shorter and tighter (cross fibred) fleeces are seen.
Thanks for the comprehensive and clear reply, it is much appreciated. This ewe definitely has all the wrong wool characteristics that you describe, the staples are inclined to lump, her fleece is always stained usually pinky red or greenish. She's the only sheep we have like this and the first ewe to be struck for many years. Now I know exactly why.
 

Paddington

Member
Location
Soggy Shropshire
Had a couple of Wiltshire Horn lambs struck this year for the first time, OK so they had mucky bums and we don't usually spray them but wondered if the number of dead rabbits we are finding round here due to mixi and usually swarming with greenbottles could be a factor ?
 

Carbon Week - 1 to 5 March.

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