Sheep Flock Health Checklist

What will the results of the flock health checklist provide me?

Upon completion of this questionnaire the results of your answers will be used to determine areas within your sheep flock management where further attention to flock health could be useful to improve animal health and productivity. You can repeat the process as often as you like to benchmark against yourself or different farms. In consultation with your animal health adviser this is a useful tool to identify areas for improvement within your flock management which may help improve animal health and productivity.


Betahydroxybutyrate (BHOB’s)A commonly used indicator of an energy deficit (subclinical and clinical ketosis) and is generally most useful in late pregnancy in sheep.
Body condition score (BCS)A quick and easy, low-cost management tool assessing the amount of body fat or condition of a ewe by feeling the spine and short ribs along the loin area. Differential feeding of ewes based on body condition score can have a considerable impact on ewe flock performance.
Drench ResistanceOccurs when there is a change in the genetic makeup of worms allowing them to survive exposure to a correctly applied dose of drench that would normally be lethal. The resistant worms carry on to breed passing their resistance genes to their offspring. Drench resistance is identified when >5% of the treated population of worms survive.
Faecal egg countCounts the numbers of worm eggs in faeces and is used to monitor worm burden in sheep.
Faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT)A test to determine the effectiveness of drenches against worms on your farm at the time of testing. It does this by comparing the Faecal Egg Count (FEC) immediately before drenching, with the FEC 10 days after drenching. The result is reported as the percentage reduction in faecal egg count over this period.
Dag scoreDag scoring is an easy technique that assesses the ‘dagginess’ of a sheep and can be used as an indicator of likely worm burden and/or challenge.
Trace Elements (TE)The four important trace elements to consider in New Zealand flocks are selenium (Se), copper (Cu), iodine (I), and cobalt (Co).