Non-traditional Forages in a Managed Grazing System for Control of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Sheep

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2008: $137,150.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Dr. William Shulaw
College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Animals: goats, sheep


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, parasite control, grazing management, preventive practices, grazing - rotational, therapeutics
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Pest Management: integrated pest management, prevention
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    This study will measure animal performance and the potential of plant secondary metabolites found in forage chicory to reduce the impact of parasite infections in sheep.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Chicory and a control forage, brown mid-rib forage sorghum x sudangrass (BMR), paddocks will be established on three Ohio sheep farms. We plan to alternately graze these paddocks with conventional grass/legume pastures using groups of 20 weaned lambs for treatment periods of two to three weeks throughout the summer. Fecal egg counts, body condition, FAMACHA© score, and body weight will be determined for the lambs in each group each time they come off grass pasture before going into either the chicory or BMR paddocks, and after every grazing of the respective treatments. Potential anthelmintic constituents in chicory grown on each farm will be quantified.

    Project outputs will include at least one peer-reviewed journal article, presentations at scientific meetings, fact sheets, and at least two field days at the farms. Information will be shared at producer meetings and through newsletter articles, magazine articles and other agricultural publications.

    Short-term outcomes include: small ruminant producers becoming more aware of the danger in the sole reliance on dewormers for parasite control and of complementary methods of parasite control to decrease the need for dewormers.

    Intermediate-term outcomes include the adoption of chicory in grazing systems for parasite control and an increased understanding of parasite biology that leads to pasture management changes to decrease reliance upon chemical dewormers.

    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.