Project Number: 6205-32000-034-32-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 15, 2012
End Date: Aug 15, 2013
Test hypothesis that cattle fever tick infestations (either Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus or R. (B.) microplus) produce fecal chemistry changes detectable by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). [Null hypothesis: No detectable fecal chemistry changes occur as a consequence of tick infestation.]
A minimum of 6 bovines of similar breed-type and sex will be placed on a uniform diet with water free choice. Samples of any prepared ration(s) and/or forage will be bagged and frozen for future chemical analysis. Half of the animals will serve as the control group. Daily fecal samples will be collected per animal beginning no more than 4 days after the cattle have been initiated to the diet and collected for each of 3 days prior to tick infestation, throughout the tick infestation period, and until 5 days after the end of tick drop. Samples will be placed in individual zip-locked plastic bags (one per sample), labeled as to date and cow number, and frozen (-20 degrees C) for later analysis. Notes will be kept on the cohort of ticks to describe the date(s) in which most meta-nymphs emerge to adults, and when engorged females drop. All fecal samples and feed samples will be shipped or transported on ice to College Station for coordination of fecal NIRS analysis through the Grazing Animal Nutrition Laboratory. A subset of samples will be submitted blind to the GAN Laboratory for analysis and interpretation. Additional samples may be analyzed pending the outcome of the subset testing.