Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research CenterTitle: Effect of supplemental sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets on gastrointestinal nematode infection in grazing goats Author
Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2012
Publication Date: 1/1/2013
Citation: Gujja, S., Terrill, T.H., Mosjidis, J.A., Miller, J.E., Mechineni, A., Kommuru, D.S., Shaik, S.A., Burke, J.M. 2013. Effect of supplemental sericea lespedeza leaf meal pellets on gastrointestinal nematode infection in grazing goats. Veterinary Parasitology. 191:51-58. 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. Small ruminants often graze poor forages during summer months and require supplements to meet nutritional needs. Pelleted sericea lespedeza offers supplemental nutrients and acts as an aid to control GIN, but little research has focuses on long term feeding to meet these targets. Scientists at Fort Valley State University, Auburn University, Louisiana State University, and USDA, ARS in Booneville, AR determined that pelleted sericea lespedeza improved animal performance and reduced worm burdens in young grazing goats and is a useful tool for natural GIN control in small ruminants. This information is important to organic and conventional small ruminant producers, extension agents, and scientists.
Technical Abstract: Feeding sun-dried sericea lespedeza [SL; Lespedeza cuneata (Dum-Cours.) G. Don.] reduces gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection in goats fed in confinement, but effects of this forage when fed as a supplement to goats on pasture are unclear. Two studies were completed in which supplemental feeds (Trial 1, 95% SL leaf meal pellets and a commercial pellet; Trial 2, 75 and 95% SL leaf meal pellets and a commercial pellet, all fed at 0.91 kg/head/day) were offered to growing male Spanish goats (Trial 1, 7 months old, 12/treatment; Trial 2, 9 months old, 10/treatment)) grazing perennial warm-season grass pastures in Fort Valley, GA, from September to October, 2009 (Trial 1), or September to November, 2010 (Trial 2). Fecal and blood samples were taken from individual animals weekly to determine fecal egg count (FEC) and packed cell volume (PCV), respectively, and animal weights were recorded at the start and end of Trial 2. After 11 weeks grazing, animals in Trial 2 were slaughtered for recovery, counting, and speciation of adult GIN from the abomasum and small intestines. In trial 1, FEC were lower (P<0.05) in goats fed the 95% SL leaf meal pellets than control pellets after 7 days, with no differences through the rest of the trial (total 6 weeks grazing). In Trial 2, there was no difference in FEC between goats fed the 75 and 95% SL leaf meal pellets, but both groups had lower (P < 0.05) FEC than the goats fed the commercial pellets from days 35-77 (total 11 weeks grazing). The PCV values were not affected by the dietary treatments in either experiment. In Trial 2, animal gain per day averaged 102.0, 77.2, and 53.3 g for goats fed 95% SL, commercial, and 75% SL pellets, respectively (P < 0.05). The 95% SL leaf meal pellet goats had 93.0 and 47.3% fewer (P < 0.05) total (male + female) adult Haemonchus contortus and Teladorsagia circumcincta, respectively, than control animals, while only male H. contortus were lower (47.6%; P < 0.05) in 75% SL-fed goats compared with commercial pellet-fed animals. Feeding supplemental SL leaf meal pellets improved animal performance and reduced worm burdens in young grazing goats and is a useful tool for natural GIN control in small ruminants.