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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF DIVERSIFIED FORAGE-BASED LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Location: Forage and Livestock Production Unit

Title: High forage quality helps maintain resilience to gastrointestinal parasites on sheep and goats

Author
item Turner, Kenneth

Submitted to: Miscellaneous Publishing Information Bulletin
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: May 21, 2014
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Citation: Turner, K.E. 2014. High forage quality helps maintain resilience to gastrointestinal parasites on sheep and goats. Miscellaneous Publishing Information Bulletin. http://www.wormx.info/Resources/Topics/Turner-forages.html.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only

Technical Abstract: Control of gastrointestinal (GI) parasites (especially the blood feeder Haemonchus contortus) in small ruminants is a problem for sheep and goat producers. Gastrointestinal parasite overloads reduce livestock performance and production efficiency, and can result in increased death losses of animals. Oral anthelmintics (dewormers) are typically administered to reduce worm burdens; however, Haemonchus infesting sheep and goats have developed resistance to commercial anthelmintics. Instead of monthly deworming, selective deworming of individual animals should be considered. Use of the FAMACHA© eyelid score system in the control of Haemonchus can slow development of resistance of this GI parasite to commercial dewormers. In addition, consideration must be given to maintaining healthy sheep and goats by satisfying dietary nutrients requirements, especially protein. There are a variety of forages used in grazing systems for sheep and goats. In order to provide forages with high nutritive value (high crude protein [CP] and total digestible nutrients [TDN]) for livestock, grazing management should be used. One management method commonly used for grazing livestock is rotational stocking. Maintaining forages with high nutritive value (including increased protein levels by utilizing legumes in pastures) helps to increase resilience in sheep and goats to GI parasites. Use of legume pastures and use of rotational stocking grazing management can provide herbages with high protein and energy levels, helping reduce effects from GI parasitism (especially Haemonchus) in sheep and goats.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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