Ag Notes: Goat owners can avoid pesky parasites

December 02, 2003|JERRY LITTLE

A female worm can produce up to 5,000 eggs a day.

That's pretty overwhelming statistic for goat owners who are trying to reduce internal and external parasites in their herds.

Eggs are passed in the fecal pellets.

The eggs need a warm, moist environment to molt to the infective larval stage.

It takes about three weeks, even less time in warmer weather, for eggs to become infective larvae that goats can consume while grazing on grass.

Some goat owners who have submitted goats to the University of Kentucky Animal Disease and Diagnostic Lab over the past few months said they had dewormed their goats and thought the goats may have been resistant to the dewormer.


We did have weather conditions this year that allowed one particular species of worm to thrive.

So, exposure time needs to be ruled out before dewormer resistance is investigated.

Yes, there can be resistance to dewormers in goats; the most common resistance is to ivermectin products.

Also, the dewormers were given to goats at the cattle dosage rate in many cases, and goats require a higher dosage than cattle.

Perhaps the most important thing goat owners can do to lessen parasite problems is to keep the goats browsing and not grazing (grazing meaning less than about four inches).

One pasture for year-round grazing is also not a good practice.

We should rotate goats to different pastures to keep them browsing and not grazing.

The rule of thumb is one doe and her offspring per grazeable acre.

Wooded areas allow for more animals per acre.

Some easy steps can help owners protect their goats from parasites.

You need to weigh goats and deworm at the correct dosage for that animal.

Work with your local veterinarian to determine if your goats are resistant to the product you're using.

This can be done by taking fecal samples from the goats at deworming and then again seven to 10 days later.

There are four classes of dewormers, and goat owners should make sure when they change products that they choose a new dewormer from a different class of drugs.

Producers need to consider treating goats 10 to 14 days after a major rain, especially after a drought period and if they have had problems in the past.

What a football player needs

"When I told the football coach that George would make a good player, the coach told me George would need three things."

"'He'll need dedication,' the coach said, and I said, 'Coach, George has plenty of dedication.'"

"He said, 'He'll need stamina,' and I said, 'He's got plenty of stamina.'"

"He said, 'He'll need intelligence,' and I said, 'He's got his own football shoes.'"

Jerry Little is Boyle County extension agent for agriculture and natural resources.

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