Report for FW04-027
The abundant rain and sun that nourish pasture grasses also help parasites flourish, placing grazing animals under continual assault from internal parasites. To combat the parasites, sheep producers rotate their animals through pastures and use chemical dewormers, or anthelmintics. These are costly and time consuming to administer, and, because of long use, the parasites’ resistance has increased. Indeed, many anthelmintics no longer work and as many as 60% of common parasites have developed resistance. The producers in this project will test pumpkin and squash seeds as a natural anthelmintic. They hope to confirm studies in Russia, China and New Zealand that have shown that an amino acid unique to pumpkin and squash seeds, cucurbitin, may have anthelmintic properties by causing paralysis in the parasites.