Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research CenterTitle: New approaches to deworming
Submitted to: A Greener World Sustainable Farming Magazine
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2020
Publication Date: 8/20/2020
Citation: Burke, J.M. 2020. New approaches to deworming. A Greener World Sustainable Farming Magazine. 5(2):17-19.
Interpretive Summary: Gastrointestinal nematodes are health limiting to small ruminants and cost the sheep and goat industry millions each year. Scientists at USDA, ARS in Booneville reviewed basic biology of some common gastrointestinal nematode parasites and outlined a number of strategies to manage them, as well as dispelled myths of commonly touted products that fail to control worms. Strategies included use of copper oxide wire particles, including genetic resistance of the animal to worms, and control of worms on pasture using a nematode-trapping fungus. This information is important to organic and conventional small ruminant producers, extension agents, veterinarians, and scientists.
Technical Abstract: Any experienced livestock producer knows that parasites are a natural part of livestock farming. But new farmers may panic when they first realize their animal has worms, feeling they may have somehow neglected their animals. The goal should be to manage or minimize the parasites, but not eradicate them. It is important to stimulate the animal’s immune response, but not overwhelm it. Producers should feel comfortable having a few worms on farm, but not so many as to harm animal welfare. This article aims to explain the basic biology of some common gastrointestinal nematode parasites and outline a number of strategies to manage them, as well as dispel some myths of the commonly touted products that fail to control worms.