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Timely Topics for 2015

Tips for preventing internal parasites

Linda Coffey & Margo Hale, April 2015


If not controlled, internal parasites can cause illness in animals. Symptoms of parasitism include weight loss, loss of appetite, depres­sion, weakness, lagging behind or separating from the flock, and possibly anemia, bottle jaw, or diarrhea.

Livestock producers want to raise healthy animals, and so they may treat the sick animals with dewormers. But that is a temporary fix at best, because unless there is a management change, animals will soon be reinfected. Also, most dewormers are no longer working because the internal parasites have developed resistance to the chemicals.

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Changing dogma

Joan Burke & Jim Morgan, March 2015


Many flocks or herds have issues with dewormers that no longer work. The American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC) has reversed the recommendations of many veterinarians and parasitologists that were prevalent prior to 2000 and still advocated by a minority today.

This article is most important for flocks/herds that deworm all sheep/goats two or more times per year. However, the ACSRPC recommends these rules for all flocks/herds so that dewormers will continue to work for all shepherds.

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Improving parasite management with annual crops

Richard Ehrhardt, February 2015


 The health and productivity of sheep and goats in perennial pasture grazing systems are often limited by a combination of forage quality and gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection.


An effective method is to integrate the use of annual forages into a grazing program. Annuals can provide grazing opportunities with zero to low risk for GIN infection while simultaneously providing a plane of nutrition even higher than perennial pastures, meeting the nutritional requirements of lactating dams and their offspring.

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Can the right grazing strategy control parasites?

Dave Scott, January 2015


 In 2013, we ran 180 ewes and 280 lambs on the 30 acres from May 1 until August 31. We dewormed no lambs and no ewes. We did not FAMACHA® that year, but the lambs looked good and 74 out of 82 ewe lambs conceived that fall. Not too bad. By 2014, we had learned how to FAMACHA® and we found 16 out of 330 lambs with a score of 4 or 5. The rest were scored 1, 2, or 3 and were not dewormed.

For a more complete description of our grazing strategy and how it has helped us, check out the ATTRA video, Intensive Grazing: One Farm’s Setup, available at:

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