Treating Parasites in Small Ruminants

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4 thoughts on “Treating Parasites in Small Ruminants

  1. In my admittedly modest experience with goats I have reached the conclusion that the key to avoiding parasite problems is to keep their noses as far as possible from the ground. This means grazing high residual on grass, or better yet, browsing on brush and trees. Grazing guru Walt Davis advises that if you don’t have a problem with brush you probably shouldn’t be running goats. I think he’s right, both ecologically and economically.

  2. elemental sulfur is natural and found in green grass. Feeding it to animals will take care of the internal and external parisits. You will not end up with any drug resistant parisites. It is nature way of taking car of a problem.

    1. ~~By fasting your animals overnight you can increase medication effectiveness.~~ Oh there ya go! In our reawakened era of holistic solutions fasting is going to be found a powerful assist to good health. Dry fasting and intermittent fasting are the top tools to slimming and even removing toxic situations in us farmers as well!

    2. Hi Pat,

      I had never heard of elemental sulfur being used for internal parasites in small ruminants before, so I checked in with Linda Coffey at ATTRA/NCAT. Linda and a group of veterinarians and experts in small ruminants were the ones who put together the publications on managing and treating parasites that we’ve been highlighting. They provided some insights and some concerns and I’ve summarized them here.

      The published literature shows no evidence that elemental sulfur has been tested for use against internal parasites. A lime-sulfur dip is used against external parasites, but even so, the sulfur contained in green, growing grass is not sufficient to prevent external parasite infection so grazing it won’t prevent internal or external parasites. There are also potential problems with using too much elemental sulfur in an animal’s diet. Sulfur can tie up minerals in the animal’s system, causing other health problems. This could be what is behind a Montana ranch account from the 1800s showing sulfur use killed just about every ewe on the place. It also might explain why one of the group of experts Linda works with lost two 9-month old lambs by feeding hay that had been treated with elemental sulfur to prevent mice from chewing on the twines.

      Everyone agreed that it would be nice if there was an easy solution to the problem of parasites, there just isn’t. That’s why we’re focusing on the integrated approaches described here.

      If you have other information about elemental sulfur that we may not have taken into account, we would love to hear it.


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