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Selection for Low FEC in Cashmere Goats

Scottish researchers investigated the effect of selecting for low fecal egg count (FEC) in Cashmere goats. Goats from generations F2 through to F9 were monitored for FEC. They were compared to an unselected control line.

The study demonstrated that selected line animals excreted a significantly lower number of parasite eggs in the majority of generations examined. Fecal egg counts were reduced by 24.5% in males and 27% in females. However, FEC differences stabilized by the F3 generation.

Live weight productivity was unaffected by selection. Unlike sheep, no clear relationships were identified between immune markers measured and fecal egg output. There was no direct link between eosinophilia and reduced FEC. Immunoglobulin levels showed no consistent difference between selected and control lines.

Teladorsagia circumcincta was the primary parasite.

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