Gauteng Smallholder Gauteng Smallholder November 2011 - Page 33

ANIMAL HEALTH From page 29 Too many applications of acaricide can R conori to humans. lead to the ticks becoming immune to the Other ticks found in Gauteng treatment, while not enough can lead to include Haemapysalis poor condition or even loss of your animals truncatum, Rhipicephalus follis, Rhipicephalus microplus, Rhipicephalus simus and Rhipicephalus turanicus. Vaccination against tick-borne diseases is a complex matter that must be carefully managed. Also, consider keeping indigenous breeds of livestock, as many of them are hardier and able to resist tick infestati ons. There are different physical methods of tick control, including plunge dip, spray races, hand spraying and pour on treatments. Few smallholders will keep enough livestock to justify the expense of building a concrete dip or spray race. Hand spraying, mostly using a knapsack sprayer is the cheapest way of applying parasiticides to all kinds of livestock. Most products available for plunge dipping, spray races and power spraying are available for hand spraying as well, just in small packs of ten to 50 ml, enough to fill one or two knapsack sprayers once they have been diluted. Each animal must be treated thoroughly until it is com- pletely wet, including the udders, the belly, below the tail, etc. Theoretically two to five litres (depending on the animal's size and the hair coat) of spray wash are needed for each sheep, goat horse or cow and a litre for each pig. Do not spray a whole group of animals at a time, as they will not get full coverage of the spray. Hand spraying is quite wasteful of the muti. Pour-on formulations of acaricides (muti) consist of a high quality oil which spreads through the greasy hair coat of livestock. It contains typically 1% of the active ingredient of the acaricide. An adjusted amount of the pour-on is applied according to the weight of the animal. Pour-on formulations are expensive to buy but there is no wastage and they can be cheaper per animal in the long term. Oily formulations can be applied as selective spot-on treatments. Similarly, if an acaricide is formulated in a grease then ears and other sites can be treated. It would help if you are able to construct a crush, which is a kind of cage, in which the animal can be restrained while you administer the pour 31 on treatment. How often you apply acaricide depends on the species of tick and the livestock that you keep. Too many applications of acaricide can lead to the ticks becoming immune to the treatment, while not enough can lead to poor condition or even loss of your animals. Strategic treatment is a system that uses ecological knowledge of the seasonal cycle of ticks. Get advice from a livestock veterinarian in your area. You also need to look at the pasture management. Holistic parasite manage- Continued on page 33