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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center

Project Number: 6020-21310-009-97-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2011
End Date: Aug 31, 2014

The objectives of this project are to optimize control of gastrointestinal worms of sheep and goats by supplementation with pelleted sericea lespedeza leaf meal, determine the effect of the pellets on coccidiosis, and determine the impact of the pellets on gastrointestinal worm infection of free range poultry. In addition, the impact of harvesting sericea lespedeza at different times during the summer and under various conditions on leaf meal quality will be determined.

Harvest treatments at several locations across the southeastern U.S. will be imposed on established sericea lespedeza similar to what could be encountered on farm. Forage quality traits and condensed tannin content will be measured on dried samples. In Arkansas and Georgia, lambs and kids will be randomly assigned to a supplement of alfalfa or 75% sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets fed at a high or moderate rate of gain for 12 weeks. In Arkansas, Georgia, and Louisiana, goat kids and lambs will be used to examine the effect of sericea lespedeza pellet supplementation on control of coccidia. Animals will be randomly assigned to receive 2% of body weight per day of alfalfa pellets (control) or the sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellet described above with or without a coccidiostat. In Arkansas, lambs will graze grass pastures post-weaning and receive 2% of body weight per day of a 16% crude protein pellet containing 75% alfalfa (control) or sericea lespedeza. Fecal egg and oocyst counts and blood packed cell volume will be determined every 7 days throughout the sheep and goat experiments, and body weights will be determined every 14 days. In Arkansas, broilers (14 days of age) will remain uninfected, or be artificially infected with two challenge levels of Ascaridia galli larvae. Birds will be offered a control (alfalfa pellets) or sericea lespedeza pellets (75% sericea lesepedeza leaf meal pellet described above) at hatch or at 21 days of age to examine the effectiveness of sericea lespedeza pellets on preventing or controlling A. galli. Birds will be necropsied at day 40. The number of worms in the gastrointestinal tract will be quantified. Cloacal samples will be collected every 7 days for bacterial (Campylobacter and Salmonella) enumeration using 16S rRNA gene sequencing methods.

Last Modified: 05/29/2017
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