Small Ruminant Integrated Parasite Management (IPM)

2005 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)


The Small Ruminant IPM Project teaches sheep and goat producers a more integrated approach to managing internal parasitism in their flocks. Four hour workshops are held to introduce producers to the practice of analyzing fecal samples to determine worm egg counts and to certify producers in the use of the FAMACHA(c) eye anemia system to determine the need for deworming individual animals. Instruction also includes basic concepts of parasitology and other methods of managing parasitism, such as multi-species grazing, managing grazing height, and genetic selection. The program also supports applied research projects.

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


Since 2004, 20 IPM workshops have been conducted in 8 states (the average attendance was 28).
Since 2004, an additional 451 individuals have been introduced to FAMACHA(c), fecal egg analysis, and other IPM techniques by attending IPM presentations where hands-on training was not possible.
An applied research project conducted at the Western Maryland Research Center demonstrated that the FAMACHA(c) system was an effective method of controling parasites in grazing lambs.
Oral presentation was given at Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (Buffalo, NY; 7/05).
Poster presentation was given at the National Small Farm Conference (Greensboro, NC; 10/05).
Abstract has been accepted for presentation at Southern Section of American Society of Animal Science (Orlando, FL; 2/06).

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Since 2004, 556 sheep and goat producers, extension agents, and youth have been certified in the use of the FAMACHA(c) system.

As evidenced by pre and post-test scores, participants in the IPM workshops have increased their knowledge of internal parasites and their control by 30 to 40 percent.

Over 200 producers are using the FAMACHA(c) system to make invididual animal deworming decisions.

Over 100 producers are using other IPM techniques such as fecal egg counting, multi-species grazing, and genetic selection to control parasites in their flocks/herds.

As a testimonial, a sheep producer offered this data: before they IPM training, he dewormed his animals 408 times for a cost of $390. After the IPM training, he reduced his dewormings to 60 and his cost to $57. Most producers indicate that they are deworming their animals significantly fewer times.