Parasite Control Silver Bullet

We first shared this in March of 2017. It's good information about managing parasites no matter what kind of livestock you're raising. If you'd like to know how to reduce deworming and still have healthy goats or sheep, you'll want to check out the the ATTRA/NCAT publication "Managing Internal Parasites: Success Stories." It includes stories from two sheep producers and one goat producer on the management steps they took to almost permanently eliminate deworming from their operations. This excerpt from Paul Casey of Heifer Project International gives you a good idea of the solution he found to work best: "Here's the silver bullet of parasite control in small ruminants...or at least what I think is the closest thing. It is not administered orally, intramuscularly or subcutaneously. It is not reconstituted or refrigerated. In fact, the sheep don’t even need to [be] put in the corral. Interested? Then read on. But beware; it may be nothing more than the ramblings of a sheep grazier. "I manage a 60-ewe sheep flock at Heifer Project International’s Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. About 10 years ago, we started looking at alternative methods of controlling gastrointestinal parasites in sheep. We tried garlic juice, papaya seeds, pumpkin seeds, an herbal dewormer, grazing chicory, grazing sun hemp, and intensive rotational

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2 thoughts on “Parasite Control Silver Bullet

  1. A Question Please. someone I know that has Boer, said that she uses
    “Decox” something like that. Is this good for parasites.

    I lost 3 goats to the parasites, and being misdiagnoised by a vet who knows nothing of goats, has a book he looks in. Off of Amazon lol
    Tried Biomection, which I will never use again. Valbazen, Safeguard….Will be moving them to another grazing area. I think that was the big problem. clay ground, doesnt absorb water, and they graze….big mistake. Is there anything you think that will be the answer?

    1. Dear Ms. Guitard,
      It is so disappointing to lose an animal, and I am sorry to hear of your deaths. Did the veterinarian conduct a fecal egg count? Fecal samples can help in diagnosing. This is important because coccidia (which is what Deccox will combat) are treated with different medications than gastrointestinal parasites, such as barberpole worm. Often an animal will be infected with both coccidia and gastrointestinal parasites. As we discuss in our publications, there is no one answer. And, depending on where you live and how your animals have been treated in the past, medications may not be effective against the parasites. We humans also make dosing errors; for example, the correct dose is calculated based on animal weight. If we estimate, we can be pretty far off. Yet, many producers don’t have scales. Besides needing to know weights, we need to take metabolism into account. Goats metabolize differently from sheep, and therefore need a bigger dose of the drug. Please will you check out our materials on ATTRA, and feel free to call me and discuss your questions; 800-346-9140. Also, for anything related to internal parasites and small ruminants, check out http://www.wormx.info. There is a wealth of information there, posted by researchers in the field, veterinarians, and extension specialists. For example, there are dewormer charts for sheep and for goats, to help producers figure out the proper dose of drug. There are videos and articles on multiple topics.

      Realize that you cannot deworm your animals enough to save them from internal parasites. You’ll have to rotate pastures, select your strongest animals, provide proper nutrition, keep troughs clean, keep them away from wet areas…that’s just the start! But it can be done. What age were your goats that died? And, have you talked to your veterinarian about the outcome? When you have a vet who “knows nothing of goats” but is willing to listen and learn, then you have someone who can become a valuable partner in your enterprise. Don’t give up on that vet. But do read as much as you can to help design a holistic, integrated plan to keep your animals healthy. I hope that helps; call or write again if you need more information. Good luck!

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