SUSTAINABLE SMALL RUMINANT PRODUCTION THROUGH SELECTION FOR RESISTANCE TO INTERNAL PARASITES
Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center
Project Number: 6227-21310-009-02
Start Date: Oct 01, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2015
Determine early progress in selection of small ruminants for resistance to internal parasitism using a buck/ram test or on farm selection (lambs from DBSFRC will be included); Determine if selection for resistance to worms has negative effects on animal performance such as daily gain, weaning weight, or reproduction; Develop and implement a new second generation central sire performance test for sheep and goats at Langston University (lambs from DBSFRC will be included); Determine if genetic markers can be developed for resistance to worms so that a blood test could be used to identify resistant animals; Evaluate economic benefits of selection for resistance to worms; Disseminate potential benefits of selection and associated economic and management considerations for adoption by small ruminant producers; Publish information on results of the study in producer publications and on our website and breed association websites.
In each of three years, 15 rams/bucks from each herd/flock (including lambs from DBSFRC) will be placed on the Second Generation Small Ruminant Central Sire Performance Test (SRCPT) at Langston University. Fecal egg counts (FEC) will be collected from rams/bucks within herd/flock and they will be ranked in parasite resistance and used for subsequent breeding. Similarly, breeding females will be selected for parasite resistance based on fecal egg counts (including those from DBSFRC). Performance data will be collected on all breeding females, including days to breeding after sire introduction, litter size, birth weight, weaning weight, and body condition score. The FAMACHA score of kids/lambs and females will be determined at 8, 10, and 12 weeks of age, and FEC will be determined at 12 weeks. A similar selection protocol will occur on-farm and producer's males will enter the SRCPT.