Small Ruminant Integrated Parasite Management (IPM)

2003 Annual Report for LNE03-190

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $49,830.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Matching Federal Funds: $17,898.00
Region: Northeast
State: Maryland
Project Leader:
Susan Schoenian
Maryland Cooperative Extension

Small Ruminant Integrated Parasite Management (IPM)


Gastro-Intestinal worms, especially the blood-sucking barber pole worm, affect the health and productivity of sheep and goats. Excessive chemical de-worming is costly and unacceptable to some consumers. The project leader will teach sheep and goat producers to reduce their use of chemical de-wormers through integrated parasite management, specifically by using fecal egg counting and an eye color chart (FAMACHA) to measure anemia caused by the barber pole worm. The goal is to reduce the use of chemical wormers, help producers identify susceptible animals for culling, and expand understanding of sustainable parasite management in small ruminants.

Objectives/Performance Targets

  • Fifty (50) of the project participants will implement fecal egg counting and/or FAMACHA on their farms as a means of controlling parasites in their sheep and/or goat flocks.

    Fifty (50) additional producers will implement one or more of the following IPM techniques:

    Alternative forages, including browsing
    Zero grazing
    Nutritional supplementation
    Genetic selection
    Strategic deworming
    Targeted therapy/selective deworming
    Proper use of anthelmintics
    Multi-species or co-grazing
    Rotational grazing with sufficient rest periods


  • 90 sheep and goat producers participated in IPM workshops in Leesburg, VA; Leonardtown, MD; and McHenry, MD.

    92 sheep and goat producers attended IPM lectures in Hazelton, PA and Fannettsburg, PA.

    Information about small ruminant parasite control was distributed to 250 persons.

    Internal parasite information was provided in newsletters, fact sheets, and on web site.

    Personal contact with producers indicates that educational efforts have created a better understanding of parasites and their life cycles and treatment strategies. Pre- and post-tests have not yet been implemented.

    PI also participated in FAMACHA training, which became necessary to purchase FAMACHA charts from the University of Georgia.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

  • Although official surveys have not yet been conducted, many producers have indicated the use of the FAMACHA technique (examination of lower eye lid color) in determining the need for deworming their animals.

    Others have indicated the desire to use fecal egg counts in their parasite control program.

    2003 was a wet year and thus a bad year for internal parasites. Death losses were high. Therefore, the goal of the first 8 months of this project was to create an awareness of IPM and anthelmintic resistance (and overuse) in preparation for next year's full slate of IPM short course/workhops and on-farm studies.