Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #285592

Title: Use of a mixed sericea lespedeza and grass pasture system for control of gastrointestinal nematodes in lambs and kids

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: 11/29/2011
Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Citation: Burke, J.M., Miller, J.E., Mosjidis, J.A., Terrill, T.H. 2012. Use of a mixed sericea lespedeza and grass pasture system for control of gastrointestinal nematodes in lambs and kids. Veterinary Parasitology. 186:328-336.

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: Because of a high prevalence of anthelmintic resistance and consumer demand for chemical free meat products, management tools to minimize the need for deworming are needed. The objective was to examine the effectiveness of grazing sericea lespedeza (SL) in a mixed grass or a pure forage system for control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN); in other words pasture systems included grass, grass plus SL, or SL alone (Experiments 2 and 3). Selective use of copper oxide wire particles (COWP) based on the FAMACHA© system was used to aid in GIN control. In Experiment 1, lambs co-grazed bermudagrass (BG; n = 21) or SL in a mixed grass pasture (SLM; n = 22) with dams for 14 days. In Experiment 2, lambs grazed BG (n = 14), SLM (n = 13), or pure SL (SLP; n = 13) pastures for 56 days. In Experiment 3, doe kids grazed BG (n = 12), SLM (n = 13), or SLP (n = 13) for 84 days. Animals were fed a 16% crude protein supplement based on NRC requirements and estimated forage quality of pastures, so that 454, 389, and 200 g/lamb (Experiment 2), or 454, 300, and 150 g of supplement/goat (Experiment 3) was fed to BG, SLM, and SLP, respectively. Animals were dewormed with COWP if FAMACHA© was >3. Coprocultures were conducted to identify GIN genus. In Experiment 1, FEC were reduced in lambs grazing SLM compared with BG pastures. In Experiment 2, FEC were reduced in SLP compared with BG lambs on all days, and reduced in SLM compared with BG lambs on day 56. Initially, Haemonchus contortus was the predominant nematode, but the population shifted to other species in the SL groups by the end of the study. The mean number of dewormings/lamb was 0.71, 0.20, and 0.21 ± 0.13 for BG, SLM, and SLP groups, respectively. In goats in Experiment 3, Trichostrongylus spp. was the predominant nematode in May and June and H. contortus in July. There was little meaningful effect of forage treatments on GIN infection in kids. Because H. contortus was not the predominant nematode in kids, the integrated approaches used may not have been effective in controlling GIN. Grazing SL was effective for GIN control in lambs in early summer, but the effect was delayed in lambs grazing a mixed SL/grass pasture unless lambs initially grazed with dams. An integrated approach used that included SL grazing and COWP for deworming was effective in lambs.