The Use of Grape Products as a Natural Anthelmintic in Goats

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2014: $9,995.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Grant Recipient: Lincoln University
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
James Caldwell
Lincoln University

Annual Reports


  • Animals: goats


  • Animal Production: parasite control
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research


    Gastrointestinal nematode parasitism is one of the greatest threats to economic goat production in the United States, costing the industry tens of billions of dollars annually.  Furthermore, with increased frequencies of anthelmintic resistance, there is heightened interest in alternative natural dewormers, such as plants containing condensed tannins.  Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate effects of fermented Chambourcin grape extract (CG) on parasite level and performance in mixed-breed goat kids.  On October 14, 2014, mixed-breed male and female goat kids (n = 45; 17.17 kg ± 0.79 BW) were stratified by fecal egg count, weight, sex, and were allocated randomly to 1 of 3 treatments:  1) an oral dose (10 mL per 4.5 kg of BW) of CG at 7-d (D7) intervals, 2) the same dose of CG at 14-d (D14) intervals, or 3) control (C; 30 mL oral dose of water at 14-d intervals).  Condensed tannins were extracted, purified, and standardized from CG and were found to have a concentration of 0.33 mg/mL.  Kids were maintained on tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceaum (Schreb.) Darbysh] and mixed browse pasture with 14% crude protein corn-soybean meal based creep feed for the duration of the 63-d study.  Fecal egg counts, packed cell volumes, FAMACHA© scores, weights, and body condition scores were measured every 7 d.  Data were analyzed by the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS.  Two contrast statements were used to compare the mean of control versus D7 and D14 and the mean of D7 versus D14.  Start BW, end BW, ADG, and gain did not differ (P ≥ 0.42) across treatments.  Start, final, and change from start to final body condition scores, fecal egg counts, and packed cell volumes did not differ (P ≥ 0.12) across treatments.  End FAMACHA© scores were higher (P = 0.02) for D7 and D14 as compared with C.  White blood cell (WBC) count increased (P = 0.04) from beginning to end of study (P = 0.08) for C compared with D7 and D14, whereas, D7 tended to be higher compared with D14.  Start neutrophils tended to be higher (P = 0.08) in C compared to D7 and D14 and a change (P = 0.05) was found in neutrophils from start to end of study in C compared with D7 and D14.  An increase (P = 0.04) was found in basophil concentrations from D7 as compared with D14.  End of study hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations tended to increase (P = 0.07 and P = 0.06, respectively) in C compared with D7 and D14.  End and change from start to end of study mean corpuscular hemoglobin was decreased (P = 0.04) in C compared with D7 and D14.  A change (P = 0.02) from start to end of study was found in platelets for C compared with D7 and D14.  Other blood parameter counts were similar (P ≥ 0.10) across treatments.  Therefore, fermented Chambourcin grape extract may not be an effective natural anthelmintic for controlling nematodes in creep-fed goat kids.


    Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) are the largest constraint to profitable goat production worldwide (Shaik et al., 2006).   Since their introduction in the 1960’s, broad-spectrum synthetic anthelmintics have been the primary defense against GIN infection in small ruminants worldwide (Hoste, 2011).  However, due to widespread prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in goat GIN, alternative, natural control methodologies are needed to increase profitability of the small ruminant industry (Shaik et al., 2006; Terrill et al., 2009).

    A compilation of research by Muir (2011) suggested that phyto-therapy or use of plants containing flavonoids, as a natural anthelmintic, should be evaluated.  Found in nearly all families of plants, the most abundant flavonoid are polyphenols (Githiori, 2006).  Polyphenols are tannins which manifest as plant secondary metabolites, and are closely associated with plant defense mechanisms against insects (Githiori, 2006; Oksana et al., 2012).  Tannins are comprised of two groups: condensed tannins (CT) and hydrolysable tannins (Anthanasiadou, 2001). 

    High concentrations of CT have been measured in fruits with dark red, blue, or black pigmented skin such as grapes, many dark orange or red skinned vegetables, some legume cereals and beans, tree nuts such as almonds, pecans and hazelnuts, cocoa beans, wine, and spices such as cinnamon (King and Young, 1999; Gu et al., 2004; Mattivi et al., 2008).  Components of pH, astringency or dryness, and bitterness, are indications of CT concentration (King and Young, 1999).  Condensed tannins are compounds that possess high molecular weights (MW), 500-3,000, that demonstrate biological activities causing them to react and precipitate most proteins (Muir, 2011).  As degree of polymerization and MW increases, astringency may also increase (Naumann et al., 2013).  An increase in concentration of CT is also observed from red grape juice to red wine (King and Young, 1999), suggesting that fermentation may influence CT accessibility to the ruminant animal (Githiori, 2006). 

    Project objectives:

    Our objective was to evaluate effects of fermented Chambourcin grape extract on performance and parasite level in creed-fed goat kids.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.