FAMACHA Course at Tocal


Sandra Baxendell and Kylie Greentree (both Small Ruminant Chapter veterinarians)

A group of 16 Boer, Angora, dairy goat breeders as well as pet miniature goat owners took part in a course on worm control given by Sandra Baxendell. Some attendees also had sheep. This was organized by Kylie Greentree, District Veterinarian with the Hunter Local Land Services –in September 2017 i.e. before the peak barber’s pole season. The basics of worm control for sheep and goats were covered in the theory session with an emphasis on pasture management and genetic selection.  As barber’s pole worms are a major problem in the region, genetic selection and using targeted treatments based on FAMACHA© scores were highlighted. It is a requirement for selling FAMACHA© cards by the copyright holder (in South Africa) that they can only be sold to people who have done both a worm control course and hands on training.

After morning tea, the group was split into two and while one group watched an instructional video, the other half went to the sheep yards at Tocal College.  After demonstrations on how to use the FAMACHA cards to score the level of anaemia and how to condition score, the participants examined the ewes. Each participant had to demonstrate the 5 PointCheck® which included using the FAMACHA© score card. The groups then swapped over.  At the completion of the training all 16 participants obtained a certificate, which will allow them to buy replacement cards if the cards fade over time.