Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #221154

Title: Dietary copper sulfate for control of gastrointestinal nematodes in goats

item Burke, Joan

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2008
Publication Date: 7/4/2008
Citation: Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E. 2008. Dietary copper sulfate for control of gastrointestinal nematodes in goats. Veterinary Parasitology. 154(3-4):289-293.

Interpretive Summary: Widespread resistance of gastrointestinal (GIN) worms to chemical dewormers has led to the need for alternative parasite control. Popular producer remedies include use of copper sulfate for GIN control, but scientific evidence is lacking. Scientists at USDA, ARS in Booneville, AR and Louisiana State University determined that copper sulfate does not adequately control GIN in goats and may have decreased weight gains. This information is important to producers, extension agents, and scientists.

Technical Abstract: Prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in goats has necessitated studies for alternative means of gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) control. The objective was to determine the effectiveness of dietary copper sulfate for control of GIN in meat goats. Naturally infected buck kids received 0 (LC), 78 (MC) or 158 (HC) mg copper sulfate (CS)/kid daily mixed with concentrate supplement for 63 days. After 42 days the HC group was re-randomized into either the LC or MC treatment. In another study, naturally infected yearling does were offered trace mineral mix with and without CS and intake was estimated to be 140 to 200 mg CS/day. Goats grazed bermudagrass pastures and were rotated among two or three pastures to minimize pasture effects. Fecal egg counts (FEC) and packed cell volume (PCV) were determined every 7 days in the first experiment and 14 days in the does and goats were weighed every 28 days. On Days 49 and 56 FEC were lower in the HC-treated kids (copper by day, P < 0.02), but FEC were similar on all other days in the first experiment and were similar between the two groups of does in the second experiment. Blood packed cell volume was similar among treatment groups throughout both studies. Body weight was greater in LC compared with MC or HC-supplemented goats on Days 42 and 63 (copper by day, P < 0.04). Body weights of does were similar on Days 0 and 56, but were reduced in goats consuming trace mineral with CS on Day 28 (copper by day, P < 0.03). Dietary CS failed to control GIN in the current study.