Pest Management for Goats and Sheep

Pest management for goats and sheep

Goats and sheep can become infected with a number of pests. It can be incredibly frustrating if you use your goats and sheep for agricultural reasons, especially if you have a pest like fleas that can remain inactive for almost a year. They’re incredibly susceptible to a number of pests such as:

  • Ticks 
  • Lice 
  • Mange
  • Fleas
  • Nose bot flies
  • Fleece worms 

Properly caring for your goats and sheep against pests will help ensure they don’t develop more infections or diseases. Today, we’re going to share a quick guide pest management for goats and sheep, and steps you can take towards care if your goats and sheep do become infested by things like ticks, fleas, lice, or other nasty critters. 

Preventing An Infestation 

Preventing an infestation with your goats and sheep is easy and manageable. There’s a lot of things you probably already do that helps prevent pest infestations. To prevent an infestation, be sure to:

  • Regularly clean pens and change bedding
  • Rotate pastures for manure
  • Cut and control vegetation around their pens
  • Regularly deworming and inspecting for parasites
  • Shear sheep and dock tails to prevent feces from gathering
  • Check any other pets like dogs and cats for signs of flea infestation
  • Quarantine the infested animal(s) until they are rid of all pests  

Speaking to a vet in your area will also help you understand what pests are more common in your area, and what you can do to prevent them. Experts also recommend switching out or rotating de-worming medicine, as pests can build a resistance to certain brands.

Spotting An Infestation 

Animals will generally become infested during the long stretches of damp weather.

Be sure to look out for changes in your animal’s behavior during rainy seasons and in the summer. The irritation your animals will feel can be quite painful and can drastically change their mood. The same for your other pets like your dog. If you think your goat or sheep has been infested with pests, be sure to look out for:

  • Irritation and depression
  • Dull and matted coats
  • Excessive scratching 
  • Scabs and skin exudations 
  • Weight loss 
  • Reduced milk production
  • Fatigue from anemia

Call your vet to see what products and procedures they recommend if you think your animals have a pest infestation.  

Handling an Infestation 

Your vet may recommend various medicines and products for your animals. When applying your insecticides, remember to always read and follow the label of any products you’re using along with the instructions of your vet. Be sure to take extra precautions when first applying and:

  • Spray animals in a well-ventilated area
  • Water animals before treatment so they are hydrated and won’t drink any products
  • Throw away any contaminated food and water
  • Don’t apply products to animals that are sick or under stress
  • Don’t apply products to animals that are less than 3 months old without instruction

Remember to inform your vet if your animals are used for milk or other by-products. 

After you’ve handled your infestation, call a local exterminator to inspect your pen to see where the infestation may be coming from. Doing this will ensure that you prevent future infestations, and may reveal true causes to any infestations. Call Pest Brigade to get hooked up with one of our qualified partners in your area. 

Tell us about your tips on pest prevention with sheep and goats in the comments below!

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