Small Ruminant Integrated Parasite Management (IPM)

2006 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 analysing fecal samples to determine worm egg counts and to certify producers in the use of the FAMACHA© 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 paraites in their sheep and/or goat flocks.

    Fifty (50) additional producers will implement one or more of the following IPM techniques: alternative forages, browsing, zero grazing, nutritional supplementation, genetic selection, strategic eworming, selective deworming, proper anthelmintic use, multi-species grazing, and pasture rest and rotation.


  • Since 2004, 27 IPM workshops have been held in 10 states. 7 workshops were held in 2006.

    Since 2004, 759 producers, students, extension agents and veterinarians have participated in IPM workshops and been certified in use of the FAMACHA© system. 204 were certified in 2006.

    An applied research program (which focuses on internal parasite issues) continues at the Western Maryland Research & Education Center (Keedysville, MD). In 2006, a pasture-based meat goat performance test was initiated. 35 goats from six states were consigned to the test. Fecal samples were collected to determine genetic differences in parasite resistance. The FAMACHA© system was used to monitor and control parasitism in the goats.

    Poster presentation (Using the FAMACHA© system to control internal parasites in grazing lambs) was given at the 2006 Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (Cincinatti, OH).

    Abstract (Teaching integrated parsasite management to sheep and goat producers) was presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Southern Section of the American Society of Animal Science (Orlando, FL).

    Abstract (Initiating a pasture-based meat goat performance test in Western Maryland) has been accepted for presentation at the 2007 annual meeting of the Southern Section of the American Society of Animal Science (Mobile, AL).

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

  • According to pre- and post-tests, producers have increased their knowledge of internal parasites and their control by 30 to 40 percent.

    According to a follow-up survey (January 2006), 74 percent of producers are deworming their animals less; none are deworming their animals more.

    57 percent of producers are experiencing fewer internal parasite problems in their herds; 40 percent characterize their problems as about the same; none, worse.

    91 percent of producers are using the FAMACHA© system to monitor their animals and make deworming decisions.

    69 percent spent less money on anthelmintics in 2005 compared to the previous year.

    According to survey results, producers are adopting various other IPM practices: fecal egg analysis, 13.2%; fecal egg counting, 28.9%; DrenchRite testing, 7.9%; mixed species grazing, 31.6%; browsing, 52.6%; increasing grazing height, 36.8%; reducing stocking rates, 28.9%; nutritional supplementation, 65.8%; zero grazing, 13.2%; breed selection, 47.4%; genetic selection, 57.9%; periparturient treatment, 63.2%; switch to oral dosing, 23.7%; weighing animals to determine proper dosage, 36.8%; planting a tanniferous forage, 2.6%; and pasture rest/rotation, 71.1%