Nematodirus risk: The time frame for the release of the Department of Agriculture’s nematodirus forecast has generally been the first week to 10 days of April in recent years. It is unlikely that there will be too much variation this year and as such flockowners should be mindful of an increased risk of infection in lambs in the coming weeks.

The disease generally hits in the east and southeast coastal areas first and then spreads countrywide. Lambs start to exhibit clinical signs of infection two to three weeks after peak hatching dates, with treatment recommended thereafter. Guidelines from the Department forecast will be highlighted on our website once released but in the meantime farmers should keep an eye out for any signs of disease and treat lambs accordingly. Typical signs of infection are profuse diarrhoea, dehydration and weight loss. The infection is not to be confused with coccidiosis, with the difference being lambs exhibiting a blood-stained dark grey scour. In severe cases of nematodirus lambs can be seen congregating around water troughs due to a greater thirst developing.