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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #268127

Title: Grazing sericea lespedeza for control of gastrointestinal nematodes in lambs

item Burke, Joan
item MILLER, J - Louisiana State University
item MOSJIDIS, J - Auburn University
item TERRILL, T - Fort Valley State University

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2011
Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Citation: Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E., Mosjidis, J.A., Terrill, T.H. 2012. Grazing Sericea lespedeza for control of gastrointestinal nematodes in lambs. Veterinary Parasitology. 186:507-512.

Interpretive Summary: Control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in small ruminants in regions of the world where anthelmintic resistance is prevalent must rely on more than just chemical deworming strategies. Sericea lespedeza (SL) grazing, copper oxide wire particles (COWP) and the FAMACHA system are tools to use for GIN control, but using them in an integrated system has not been fully examined and grazing SL by lambs has not been examined. Scientists at USDA, ARS in Booneville, AR, Louisiana State University, Auburn University, and Fort Valley State University, GA determined that integrated strategies work well and it may be more economical and production greater than using conventional methods. This information is important to organic and conventional small ruminant producers, extension agents, and scientists.

Technical Abstract: Alternatives to chemical dewormers are needed to counter anthelmintic resistance and improve organic management systems. The objective was to examine the effectiveness of grazing sericea lespedeza (SL) compared with grass pastures for control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in lambs. In Experiment 1, Katahdin lambs grazed bermudagrass (BG; n = 14), tall fescue (TF; n = 7), or SL (n = 19) pastures during early summer months. In Experiment 2, lambs grazed TF (n = 15) or SL (n = 13) pastures during late summer. Stocking rate of pastures was based on forage availability; additional lambs grazed pastures in Experiment 2, but were not sampled. Lambs were dewormed with 0.5 g COWP if FAMACHA© score was > 3. In Experiment 1, FEC were reduced within 35 days in SL compared with BG lambs (forage by time, P = 0.03). The PCV was more resilient to changes over time in SL compared with other groups of lambs (forage by time, P = 0.001). In Experiment 2, FEC were lower (P = 0.02) and PCV tended to be higher (P = 0.09) in lambs grazing SL compared with TF forage. Incidence of deworming was similar among forage groups in both experiments. Grazing SL reduced FEC in lambs in early and late summer, despite reluctance by lambs to graze. An integrated approach for GIN control using SL forage and selective deworming using COWP was effective in lambs.