The Use of Grape Products as a Natural Anthelmintic in Goats

2015 Annual Report for GNC14-184

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

The Use of Grape Products as a Natural Anthelmintic in Goats



Gastrointestinal nematode parasitism is one of the greatest economic threats to goat production in the United States.  With elevated incidences of anthelmintic resistance there is an increased interest in alternative natural dewormers, such as plants containing condensed tannins.  Therefore, the objective of this study, supported by the NRC-SARE graduate grant program, was to evaluate the effects of fermented Chambourcin grape extract on parasite level and performance of goat kids.  On October 14, 2014, a total of 45 mixed-breed goat kids (17.17 kg ± 0.79) were stratified by fecal egg count, weight, breed, and sex, and were allocated randomly to one of three treatments:  1) an oral dose (10 mL per 4.54 kg of BW) of fermented Chambourcin grape extract at 7-day (D7) intervals, 2) the same dose at 14-day (D14) intervals, or 3) control (30 mL oral dose of water at 14-day intervals).  Condensed tannins were extracted, purified, and standardized by the Protein-Precipitable Phenolics method and found to have a concentration of 0.33 mg/mL.  Goats were housed on primarily Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh fescue with mixed browse pasture and full access to 16% crude protein corn-soybean meal based creep feed for the duration of the 63-day study.  Data were analyzed by the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS and treatments were reported as least square means.  Two contrast statements were used to compare the mean of control versus D7 and D14 and the mean of D7 versus D14.  Animal was the experimental unit.  Fecal egg counts, packed cell volumes, average daily gain, total weight gain, body condition scores, and FAMACHA© scores did not differ (P ≥ 0.12) across treatments. Therefore, fermented Chambourcin grape extract may not be an effective natural anthelmintic for controlling nematodes in creep-fed goat kids.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The objective of this study, supported by the NRC-SARE graduate grant program, was to evaluate the effects of fermented Chambourcin grape extract on parasite level and performance of goat kids.

The study included 45 goat kids of mixed breeds and sex, once weaned kids were maintained on primarily fescue grass fields to allow a nature gastrointestinal nematode infection (GIN) to develop. For the duration of the project the goats continued to graze on fescue pasture ad libitum with fresh water and organic approved mineral supplements. The kids were maintained in a single group with ear tag numbers as the primary identification method.

The experimental treatment consisted of three (3) treatment groups, with duration of 60 days. Prior to allocation kids were weighed, given body condition scores (BCS), Fecal Egg Counts (FEC) sampled, Packed Cell Volume (PCV) sampled, Complete Blood Cell (CBC) sampled and given a FAMACHA score. The treatment groups consisted of kids that were randomly allocated and stratified by Fecal Egg Count (FEC), weight and sex, to one of the three treatments. The three treatment groups consisted of group 1) drenched with organic fermented grape extract every 7 days at a rate of 10 mL per 10 pounds of body weight, group 2) drenched with organic fermented grape extract every 14 days at a rate of 10 mL per 10 pounds of body weight, and group 3) drenched with water every 7 days at a rate of 10 mL per 10 pounds of body weight, as a negative control.

Feedstuff was analyzed by several methods. Condensed tannins (CT) were extracted and purified from Chambourcin by the CT isolation method using Sephadex LH-20 gel filtration (GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences Corp, Piscataway, NJ; Strumeyer and Malin, 1975) then quantified by the Protein-Precipitable Phenolic (PPP) method (Hagerman and Butler, 1978), which uses iron phenolate to detect tannins by UV Spectrophotometer (Beckman Coulter Inc., Model DU730, Fullerton, CA). In addition, Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF), and CP was measured for fescue pastures.

Sampling procedures and analysis included FEC, BCS, FAMACHA and weight every 7 days with an addition of CBC samples every 14 days. FEC was collected rectally, with ova counted using a modified McMaster procedure. Data was expressed as eggs per gram (EPG) of feces. Blood samples were taken by jugular venipuncture into hematocrit tubes, with PCV determined using a micro-hematocrit centrifuge and reader. Animals were removed from the study when threshold levels were met in 3 out of 4 criteria. Fecal egg count of 4000+, FAMACHA score of 4+, packed cell volume count of 21% or less, and a body condition score below 2. The goal was to maintain animals above threshold for the duration of the 63 day study. In the event an animal reached 3 of 4 criteria for control thresholds the kid was removed from the study and given a synthetic anthelmintic designated by the veterinary care personnel and relocated on the farm. Environmental stress due to being moved and handled were minimized by maintaining groups. The egg counts and PCV data was analyzed as a randomized design using repeated measure analysis with treatment and time. Pre-trial and trial periods were be analyzed separately using SAS (SAS Institute, Inc).

Preliminary results showed, start, end, and change from start to final 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 versus control. Average daily gain and total weight gain also did not differ (P ≥ 0.42) across treatments.

The outcomes did not reflect what we had hypothesized would happen. Other research (Whitley et al., 2009) suggests that full access to protein provided by creep feed may increase the nutritional plane significantly enough to allow an immune system response to naturally combat parasite loads. Additionally, because goats are browsers, the evolution of the species has introduced production of CT-binding proline-rich salivary proteins to reduce the anti-nutritional effects of high CT concentrations (Aas, 2003), as well as the avoidance of stage 3 larvae of most parasites because of their browsing behavior may play a significant role. Goat behavior to feed on a highly diversified plants has led to differences which might be involved in the regulation of parasite populations. 


The project is nearly complete. We will finish the producer component of the grant in April, 2016. This will include 2 producers with a variety of goat breeds, sex, and ages. We will measure weights and fecal egg counts for 35 days. The goats will be given a dose of Chambourcin grape extract per animal weight recorded at start and for each 7 days following. The statistical data for the complete blood counts still needs to be analyzed currently.

We look forward to having all of the final reports in May, 2016.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Attached is the presentation from the Journal of Animal Science, Joint Animal Meeting in Orlando, Florida in July 2015. I delivered a poster presentation along with a large group of students from small ruminant research.

The impact of this graduate research grant has not been exactly as I had hoped but in the process we have learned some of the significant differences in small ruminant species. Goats and Sheep are not identical in metabolism or digestion of nutrients, this may change parasite control options. The impact of condensed tannins in research of alternative anthelmintics should continue to be explored. I believe there is still much to be learned in this area.

JAM poster_2015


Dr. James Caldwell
Assistant Professor
Lincoln University
1220 Chestnut St.
111 SARF
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Office Phone: 5736815374