So all I had to do was get samples from everyone, label them, and get to the vet's office on the appointed Friday. I started a week in advance; good thing since most of what I got when I went to visit was this:
What's in the baggies? Snacks? Yummies? Food? Baggies mean goodies, I know it. Therefore I'm not taking my eyes off you...I want to be first when the cookies appear...
This is Angel - just multiply the photo by four more - they all solidly refused to follow their normal routine or show their butts so I could positively identify which chocolate drops came from which sheep. (Sigh)
It took the entire week to gather what I needed, but finally got the five sheep and one goat to produce what I was looking for. Luckily for me, I arrived late enough in the day that the company rep was backed up (no pun intended) and so full of poop samples that he could not do the fecal test right then and there. (That saved me having to explain to the eager salesman about raising animals organically and my lack of faith in their miracle concoctions...)
We worm with Spring and Fall applications of garlic ( three or four cloves each over three days) and in the Fall they get all the pumpkins they can eat.
We also rotate pasture every few days with our Electronet and they don't double back on the same area for around two weeks, if possible. The only drawback to Electronet is that a few of them have figured out how to use their fleece to absorb the shock just enough to tolerate slipping under the fence if the flower garden looks especially tasty. So faces/polls/ears are kept well clipped.
So - this years results? (Drum roll, please...)
No, not a typo. The sheep showed zero. Zip. Nada. And Cicero, the lone goat, showed 1.
Realistically, they usually carry a small, bearable few as that is normal for ruminants. So I'm sure they are in there somewhere. But we felt a lot better about our Fall arrival, knowing he was coming into a healthy flock and pasture.
Our only planned changes for 2010 are the addition of a few more poultry to free-range the pasture (We had a flock of turkeys this year) and the usual enhancement of pasture areas with a liberal sprinkling of orchard grass seed in the Spring. And if I get REALLY motivated, perhaps a little clearing of scrub to create a wee bit more grass area. Maybe...