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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321505

Title: Effect of supplemental sericea lespedeza pellets on internal parasite infection and nutritional status of grazing goats

item HAMILTON, TIFFANY - Fort Valley State University
item TERRILL, THOMAS - Fort Valley State University
item KOMMURU, DILL - Fort Valley State University
item RIVERS, A - Fort Valley State University
item MOSJIDIS, JORGE - Auburn University
item MILLER, JAMES - Louisiana State University
item DRAKE, C - Fort Valley State University
item MUELLER-HARVEY, IRENE - University Of Reading
item Burke, Joan

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2017
Publication Date: 5/1/2017
Citation: Hamilton, T.N., Terrill, T.H., Kommuru, D.S., Rivers, A.J., Mosjidis, J.A., Miller, J.E., Drake, C., Mueller-Harvey, I., Burke, J.M. 2017. Effect of supplemental sericea lespedeza pellets on internal parasite infection and nutritional status of grazing goats. Journal of Agricultural Science. 7(5):334-344.

Interpretive Summary: ondensed tannin rich plants such as sericea lespedeza fed to goats in the form of harvested leaf meal pellets provides a moderate source of protein and aids in the control of internal parasites, specifically barber pole worm and coccidia that cause detrimental health problems such as lost weight gains, anemia and death. However, the condensed tannins are a secondary plant compound that can also have unintended consequences to the animal. Scientists at Fort Valley State University, USDA, ARS in Booneville, AR, Louisiana State University, Auburn University, and Reading University in England determined that feeding SL leaf meal pellets to grazing goats reduced indices of infection of barber pole worm and coccidia without any negative effects to muscle or liver function. This information is important to organic and conventional small ruminant producers, extension agents, and scientists.

Technical Abstract: Feeding supplemental Sericea lespedeza (SL; Lespedeza cuneata) leaf meal pellets has been shown to reduce the effects of infection with gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) and coccidia (Eimeria spp.) in sheep and goats, but effects on nutritional status of parasitized small ruminants are unclear. A 14-week grazing study (July-Nov, 2014) was completed at Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, GA, comparing yearling goats (Spanish, 14 months old, 30.02 ± 3.6 kg, intact males, n = 11-12/treatment) supplemented with SL leaf meal pellets or non-tannin control pellets at 1.5% of body weight (BW). After 14 weeks, all the animals were supplemented with commercial pellets at 2.5% of BW and bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) hay for an additional 6 weeks (Nov-Dec, 2014). Animal BW was measured at the start of the trial, 7th week, 14th week, and end of the trial. Fecal samples were taken weekly to determine GIN egg output (fecal egg count, FEC) and coccidial oocyst production (fecal oocyst count, FOC). Blood samples (to determine packed cell volume; PCV) and FAMACHA© scores were taken weekly to monitor anemia status of the goats, and on Days 0, 98, and 137 to determine serum concentrations of minerals and activity of liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and creatine kinase (CK). Pasture (Days 49, 98) and pellet samples were ground and analyzed for condensed tannins (CT), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF). The data were analyzed as repeated measures using SAS; FEC and FOC data were log transformed. Goats supplemented with SL leaf meal pellets had lower (P < 0.05) FEC and FOC than those given control pellets from Days 28 to Day 63, and Day 35 to Day 91, respectively, and the SL-supplemented goats tended to gain more weight than control animals during the first 49 days following initiation of pellet feeding (123 ± 57 and 84 ± 57 g per day, respectively; P = 0.07). Feeding supplemental SL pellets decreased serum concentrations of selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn) in the goats, but this did not affect animal performance. Additionally, there were no treatment effects on enzymes related to liver function or muscle turnover (AST, ALT, and CK), suggesting that there was no muscle damage due to long-term feeding of SL pellets in this study. Feeding supplemental SL pellets at 1.5% of BW (Approximately 35% of daily intake) on pasture may be a viable strategy for improving health and productivity of yearling goats.