Novel methods for sustainable control of gastrointestinal nematodes in llamas and alpacas in the southeastern United States

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2006: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Grant Recipient: Fort Valley State University
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Thomas Terrill
Fort Valley State University

Annual Reports


  • Animals: camelids


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, parasite control

    Proposal abstract:

    South American camelid (llama and alpaca) farming is a growing industry in the United States (US), and infection with gastrointestinal nematodes is a source of significant economic loss to camelid producers. Most llama and alpaca farmers in the southeastern US are dependent upon use of chemical anthelmintics, which has been shown to be a non-sustainable practice in sheep and goat herds in this region because of widespread prevalence of anthelmintic resistance. Novel, sustainable parasite control technologies, including the use of the FAMACHA system of anemia detection and the use of anthelmintic plants, particularly sericea lespedeza, have been successfully tested in small ruminants, but have not been tested in llamas and alpacas. Sericea lespedeza hay will be fed to parasitized llamas and alpacas on pasture to test anthelmintic effects as measured by fecal egg counts (FEC) and blood packed cell volume (PCV). To validate the use of FAMACHA, animals on 15 alpaca and 15 llama farms in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina or Tennessee will be tested. FAMACHA scores will be correlated with FEC and PCV from individual animals in a separate data set for each species. Data from these studies will be published as a Master’s thesis and in scientific and producer-oriented journals.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1) Validate use of the FAMACHA system of anemia detection with llamas and alpacas on-farm.

    2) Test the efficacy of sericea lespedeza hay against gastrointestinal nematode infection of llamas and alpacas on-farm.

    3) Disseminate results from these studies in scientific and producer-oriented journals and as a published Master’s thesis.

    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.