Location: Forage and Livestock Production ResearchTitle: Effects of feeding sericea lespedeza as a natural anthelmintic for haemonchus contortus in lactating does) Author
Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2011
Publication Date: 8/1/2012
Citation: Vest, J.L., Brown, M.A., Kohler, J.D., Hudson, M.D., Nusz, S.R., Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E., Mackown, C.T., Walker, E.L. 2012. Effects of feeding sericea lespedeza as a natural anthelmintic for haemonchus contortus in lactating does [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 90(1):12. Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.
Technical Abstract: In the United States, infection of Haemonchus contortus is the leading cause of goat mortality. Use of alternative parasite control methods, including forages containing condensed tannins (CT), have been found to reduce parasite load. Thirty-seven Boer-influenced does kidded from April to June. During the last 30 days of gestation, does were randomly placed on a diet of alfalfa (Medicago sativa; 21% CP) pellets (Alf) or sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata; 16% CP) pellets (SL) and allowed to graze on 0.61 ha bermudagrass pasture. Does were fed a maximum of 3% of BW throughout the study. At parturition, BW and gender of kids was recorded. On d 7, 21, 35, 49, and 63 post-kidding, doe fecal samples, BCS, blood samples, and measurements of milk yield and composition were obtained. In order to account for environmental changes during the 62 d kidding period, does were grouped in two kidding periods, early (those kidding from d 1 to d 31) and late (d 32 to d 62 of the trial). The climate during the later kidding period included increased rainfall and high humidity compared to the early period. The later kidding does had greater fecal egg counts (FEC) on d 7, 21, 35 and 49 (P < 0.003) and greater pack cell volume (PCV) on d 21, 49, and 63 (P < 0.05). SL-fed does had lower FEC (P < 0.05) than the Alf does on d 35. On d 63, does with singles had lower FEC (P = 0.03) and greater PCV levels (P = 0.006) than does with twins. Differences between parities occurred on d 49 and 63 with does raising singles having greater PCV (P < 0.05). Doe FAMACHA scores gradually increased from d 7 to d 49 with an improvement by d 63 (P < 0.0001). Does with singles tended to have lower FAMACHA scores (P = 0.08). Body weight and BCS of does were higher on d 7 and 21 compared to d 35, 49, and 63 (P = 0.008). Does with singles, had greater BCS than does with twins (P = 0.0002). Does raising twins produced more milk on d 7 and 21 becoming similar to single parity ewes by d 35 (P = 0.0001). Alf-fed, later kidding does had the lowest milk production (P = 0.0089). In conclusion, SL decreased H. contortus day 35 after kidding, but not at other times. It is possible that the minimal differences in FEC and PCV between alfalfa and SL may have been influenced by treatment differences in crude protein. Time of kidding and possibly climate greatly affected the does parasite load. To reduce H. contortus, kidding during low humidity and dry periods is optimal.