Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2007
Publication Date: 3/26/2007
Citation: Terrill, T.H., Mosjidis, J.A., Moore, D.A., Shaik, S.A., Miller, J.E., Burke, J.M., Muir, J.P., Wolfe, R. 2007. Effect of pelleting on efficacy of sericea lespedeza hay as a natural dewormer in goats. Veterinary Parasitology. Interpretive Summary: Widespread resistance of gastrointestinal worms to chemical dewormers has led to the need for alternative parasite control in small ruminants. Plants containing condensed tannins, such as sericea lespedeza, may have some deworming properties, but whether preserving the forage, especially through pelleting, will affect this is unknown. Scientists from Fort Valley State University, Auburn University, Louisiana State University, USDA, ARS in Booneville, AR, and Texas Agricultural Experiment Station determined that sericea lespedeza pellets maintained deworming activity when fed to goats. These results indicate that sericea lespedeza pellets can be conveniently fed to aid in the control of internal parasites in goats and this information is important to extension agents, scientists, and a growing number of small ruminant producers.
Technical Abstract: Resistance of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) to anthelmintic treatment has increased pressure to find alternative, non-chemical control methods. Feeding hay of the high condensed tannin (CT) forage sericea lespedeza [SL; Lespedeza cuneata (Dum-Cours.) G. Don.] to sheep and goats has reduced GIN fecal egg count (FEC) and worm numbers in the abomasum and small intestines. This effect has been reported with both unground (long) and ground hay. Pelleting of ground hay increases ease of storage, transport, and feeding, but heating during the pelleting process could reduce biological activity of CT. Eighteen naturally-GIN-infected 5-6 month-old Kiko-Spanish cross bucks were fed pelleted and ground SL hay and ground bermudagrass [BG; Cynodon dactyon (L.) Pers.] hay diets (n=6 per treatment) in a confinement trial. The bucks were fed the ground BG hay (75% of daily intake) plus a pelleted 16% CP commercial goat chow (25% of daily intake) for three weeks, after which they were assigned to treatment groups based upon FEC, 12 animals were switched to ground and pelleted SL hay plus goat chow for four weeks, and then all animals were fed the BG ration for one additional week. Throughout the trial, feces and blood were collected from individual animals weekly to determine FEC and blood packed cell volume (PCV), respectively. All goats were slaughtered at the end of the trial, with adult worms in the abomasum and small intestines recovered, counted, and identified to species. Both forms of SL hay reduced (P<0.05) FEC in goats relative to BG hay-fed animals, with a greater reduction in goats fed the SL pellets. There was no effect on PCV until the final sampling date, when the SL pellet-fed goats’ PCV increased (P<0.05) compared with the other treatments. Feeding pelleted SL reduced (P<0.05) abomasal worms, primarily Haemonchus contortus, relative to the BG hay-fed goats. Worm numbers in the goats fed ground SL hay were intermediate. Pelleting SL hay enhanced its efficacy against parasitic nematodes and may facilitate the broader use of this forage in small ruminant GIN control programs.