Implementing a successful worming programme is key to protecting the next generation of stock at Logie Durno, a business which sells around 1000 tups and breeds replacement ewes for themselves and others.

Gregor Ingram, alongside his father William, mother Carole, brother Bruce and sister Amy, runs Logie Durno, a 2000-acre sheep enterprise lambing more than 4200 ewes. The farm is predominantly grassland with 120 acres of swedes for winter grazing, built into the grass rotation.

Gregor says: “Our ewes are bred to a mix of maternal and terminal sires to include pedigree Suffolks, Texels, Bluefaced Leicesters, Beltex and Charollais as well as four of our own patented breeds which are the Durno, Beltex cross Durno, Logie and Frontera.

The Scottish Farmer: Implementing an effective worm control policy is crucial to avoid resistanceImplementing an effective worm control policy is crucial to avoid resistance

“The Durno and Beltex cross Durno breeds are terminal sires which have been selected for increased vigour, growth rates and saleable meat. The Logie and Frontera maternal sires offer easy lambing traits, good prolificacy and milking ability traits while maintaining good growth rates and killing out percentages,” he explains.

“With this in mind, the terminal sire breeds are lambed indoors and maternal breeds lamb outdoors.”

The business at Logie Durno was a first generation when his parents started it, and it is only in recent years that it has grown into the size and scale that it is now.

“It’s not that long ago that dad had a full-time pregnancy scanning run and was selling just 50 tups a year. However, when my brother and I decided we wanted to return to the farm, he and my mother sat down and developed a five-year plan to take us to sell 500 tups, making it viable for us to all be involved in the farm.

“Since then, the business has continued to grow. As we’ve been able to increase the amount of land we farm we’re now selling a significant number of breeding stock and continue to evolve our genetics with the aim of producing that ‘perfect’ sheep,” he says.

Gregor added that breeding and selling high-quality rams and ewes is at the core of the business, with remaining offspring sold for meat.

“We have a lot of high-value stock on the farm, selling 1000 rams annually for breeding, which includes our own farm sale each August, where we sell about 475 rams across all breeds.

“With this in mind, we undertake a lot of genetic loading, performance recording and weighing to constantly evolve the performance of our animals,” he says. “The rest of our lambs not selected for breeding are sold at 22kg deadweight, with our outdoor lambs grading at R/U and our indoor lambs slightly better.”

The Ingrams look to maximise the value of stock on-farm, optimising flock health and welfare with an effective worm programme paramount to success.

“Executing an effective worm programme is vital for us, as it allows us to protect investment already made in our flock, while also protecting stock due to be sold the following year,” says Gregor.

The Scottish Farmer: Gregor Ingram runs 4000 ewes with his family at Logie DurnoGregor Ingram runs 4000 ewes with his family at Logie Durno

“We drive around our stock daily and as soon as they start to look as though they’re not performing as we’d expect, we undertake a FEC test.

“We reseed grass regularly and move sheep around pasture frequently to ensure worm burdens are diluted.

“We also undertake summer or winter grazing. So, if we graze a block of land in the summer, we’ll tend to then give this land a break over winter,” he explained.

“If a worm pressure is present, we tend to use a white drench at eight weeks alongside our second vaccinations. We’ll then monitor them and weigh them regularly throughout the summer, moving them onto fresh grass regularly.”

He added that they tend to find that lambs get an aggressive worm infestation around September which if it coincides with weaning, they are particularly vulnerable, with knock-on impacts on performance.

“To clear these worm burdens almost instantly we’ve opted to use a Group 4 orange wormer, Zolvix™, as recommended by a RAMA from our local livestock merchant store, due to its proven efficiency,” he said.

“Since implementing this annual late season break dose as part of our worming protocol, we’ve seen the lambs thrive and grow again. The cost isn’t really a problem, it’s the result that we need to get, which is getting stock growing again.”

He added that worm resistance is a major threat to the business, and after treatment, he continues to monitor performance.