Improving lamb performance with sericea lespedeza and molybdenum

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2013: $10,007.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Grant Recipient: University of Arkansa
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Charles Rosenkrans
University of Arkansa

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: bovine, poultry, goats, rabbits, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing management, parasite control
  • Crop Production: food product quality/safety
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    ABSTRACT           In the U. S., there is a growing preference for goat and sheep meat because of the increased ethnic population that consume these products. The southern U. S. has an abundance of pasture for small ruminants, although internal parasites can be challenging. Gastrointestinal parasitism is one of leading causes of loss of sheep and goats because gastrointestinal nematodes, or worm have become resistant to all available anthelmintics. Because of this and a demand for certified organic meats there is a continued need for studies on organic parasite control.          Forage plants like sericea lespedeza are very efficient in controlling both gastrointestinal nematodes and coccidian species. However, recent studies funded by Southern Region SARE and a Small Business Innovative Research grant indicated a decrease in weight gain by animals fed a diet containing high condensed tannins. In addition, we have also observed a reduction in plants and tissue concentrations of molybdenum in lambs fed sericea lespedeza. Molybdenum is an important co-factor in integral enzyme complexes that could be important in weight gain. In this study, we will be supplementing a sericea lespedeza fed group of lamb with molybdenum to determine whether weight gains will improve while maintaining the benefit of worm and coccidia control. Key words:- sericea lespedeza, molybdenum, condensed tannin, lamb

    Project objectives from proposal:

              In our proposed research we will be supplementing molybdenum in sericea lespedeza fed lambs. This will ameliorate the Mo deficiency that was apparent in earlier studies. We will examine the gastrointestinal nematodes and coccidia and see whether we will offset the effect of decrease in weight gain in lamb fed with sericea lespedeza. 


              To determine the effect of molybdenum supplementation on reduction of gastro-intestinal parasite and weight gain in lamb fed with sericea lespedeza.





      1. Examine the effect of treatment on plasma and liver concentration of trace minerals.


      1. Examine effects of treatment on hematology and serum chemistry.


      1. Examine effects of treatment on control of Haemonchus contortus and Eimeria spp. by measuring fecal egg count, fecal oocyst count, packed cell volume, dag score and fecal score.


      1. Determine weight gain of lambs.


    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.