Sheep with worms know they need supplements

Researchers have developed a reliable method of measuring an individual grazing animal’s intake of dietary supplements.

When the oral worm drench Fenbendazole is included in a lick block containing feed supplements, it emerges in blood samples as a reliable marker of the amount of the block - and therefore of the supplements - that an animal has eaten.

“We can tell from the blood samples just how much of a block each animal has eaten,” the project researcher said. “This has been quite difficult to determine until now.”

“It gives us an opportunity to understand not only how much, but why animals eat supplements,” she continued. “Using this technique, I’ve found that sheep are more driven to look for feed supplements when they have a worm infection.”

Read more at University of New England