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Prohibitive cost of labor and management as well as questionable nutritional conditions, prevent most investigators of sheep parasites from raising lambs on wire, away from their ewes. The following method is used by the authors and is apparently effective in keeping lambs free of coccidia and nematodes except Strongyloides papillosus.
One month before lambing, all ewes are drenched with 25 grams of phenothiazine and trimmed to remove all soiled wool. They are then fed a pelleted ration consisting of ground alfalfa hay, ground yellow corn, molasses, one percent trace mineralized salt, and enough phenothiazine so that each ewe receives between 1.5 and 2 grams per day. Our practice is to have four pounds of phenothiazine mixed in one ton of feed. One pint of a 3.45 percent solution of sulfaquinoxaline is added to 50 gallons of drinking water. Both drugs are administered continuously until the lambs are ready for experimental use. While using this method we have used straw bedding in concrete pens. The pens are routinely cleaned twice weekly.
The method is apparently effective. From critical observations while doing daily routine fecal examinations, coccidia oocysts have not appeared for a period of eighteen days following discontinuation of the preventive measures and no unwanted nematode infections (except Strolzgyloides) have been encountered. No drug toxicity or abortions have been noticed.