Small Ruminant Integrated Parasite Management (IPM)

2004 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 deworming is costly and unacceptable to some consumers. The project leader will teach sheep and goat producers how to reduce their use of chemical dewormers through integrated parasite management (IPM) techniques, specifically by using fecal egg analysis and the FAMACHA eye color chart 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 the 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


  • Two hundred and fourteen (214) sheep and goat producers and extension agents participated in ten (10) 4-hour IPM workshops held in four (4) states with participants from seven (7) states. Participants gained hands-on experience conducting fecal egg analysis and using the FAMACHA¬© eye anemia chart.

    Two hundred and thirty-four (234) sheep and goat producers and students attended IPM workshops in which hands-on training could not be included.
    Based on the results of pre- and post-tests, producers increased their knowledge of internal parasite control by 30 to 40 percent as a result of participating in the IPM workshops.
    A poster showing the FAMACHA technique was published and displayed at the SARE conference.
    PI assisted with FAMACHA training at the Small Ruminant Expo (VA) and Katahdin Hair Sheep International Meeting (MI).

    Internal parasite information was distributed via newsletters, booklets, fact sheets, and the PI's web site.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

  • Nearly 100% of the producers who have provided verbal feedback indicated that they are using the FAMACHA eye anemia chart to determine the status of barber pole worm infection in their flocks.

    Nearly 100% of the producers who have provided verbal feedback indicated that they have reduced the use of chemical dewormers.

    Small Ruminant IPM is the most popular extension program the PI has ever managed. Additional requests for the course have been received from Arizona, Vermont, and Ohio.