Efficacy of Natural Dewormers in the Control of Gastrointestinal Nematodes of Small Ruminants
The objectives of the proposed research are: 1) to determine the efficacy of non-chemical/natural means of parasite control (pumpkin seeds, garlic, ginger, and papaya seeds) in small ruminants, and 2) to educate producers about natural dewormers and integrated parasite management (FAMACHA, fecal egg counting, and pasture management). The project will be conducted at Delaware State University’s Farm and also on producer farms in DE and MD.
During year one, (in collaboration with Univ. of Maryland Eastern Shore), naturally infected crossbred goats and crossbred hair sheep lambs were fed diets containing pumpkin seeds and/or garlic and levels of parasitism (fecal egg counts and packed cell volume) and growth monitored. The influence of both natural dewormers on nutritional composition and meat quality is currently being determined.
During year two, naturally infected goat kids were drenched orally with pumpkin seed, papaya seed or ginger drench solutions and levels of parasitism (fecal egg counts, packed cell volume and larval identification) and growth were measured and recorded. The influence of both natural dewormers on nutritional composition and meat quality is currently being determined. In addition, two Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) workshops were held at both Delaware State University (DSU) and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) in summer 2009 to educate small ruminant producers on the efficacy of natural dewormers and IPM techniques.
Three abstracts have been submitted and presented at the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientist meeting (winter 2009), the 15th Biennial Research Symposium of the Association of Research Directors, Inc. (ARD; spring 2009), and the American Association of Animal Science meetings (summer 2009). In addition, the pumpkin seed results from year one was distributed to producers via an article in the Summer 2009 edition of the Wild and Wooly newsletter (formerly Maryland Sheep and Goat Newsletter). The results from year two will also be submitted for presentation at the 2010 American Association of Animal Science national meeting in 2010.
In year 3, on-farm projects will be conducted in DE and MD with cooperation from the Delmarva Goat Association and the Lower Shore Goat and Sheep Producers Association and follow-up will occur with on-farm visits, phone calls and interviews with farmers. Fact sheets and newsletter articles describing the results from all three years will be published. In addition, two Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) workshops will be held in order to educate small ruminant producers on the efficacy of natural dewormers and IPM techniques.
Fifteen small ruminant producers will decrease reliance on chemical dewormers through the use of an alternative natural dewormer and/or other IPM practices such as the use of FAMACHA and fecal egg counting for parasite control in their flocks.
• Four experiments have been conducted on the efficacy of garlic (sheep and goats), pumpkin seeds (goats), papaya seeds (goats) and ginger (goats) in controlling internal parasites in small ruminants.
• Two workshops held on Integrated Parasite Management including the use of natural dewormers with approximately 40 producers attending from DE, MD, and VA.
• Three emails from producers and industry interested in the use of natural dewormers in small ruminants.
• Increased interest among producers in Delaware and Maryland for IPM workshops and the use of pumpkin seeds, in particular, to reduce/control parasites.
In addition to three controlled experiments, another study was included during year one to look at a single dose of garlic juice in reducing fecal egg counts in grazing goats based on producer interest. Experiments looking at the efficacy of ginger and papaya seeds were not included during year one due to time constraints and facility upgrade at Delaware State University (DSU). During year two, however, these natural dewormers were tested in goat kids along with a pumpkin seed drench. Sheep and goats are very similar and it is assumed that if these natural products are effective in one species then they will be effective in the other (as seen in year one where garlic was ineffective in both sheep and goats). During year three, the pumpkin seed and ginger will be repeated in sheep for confirmation and two producers will test one of these four natural dewormers on their farm.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
During year one (DSU), twenty-two goat kids were used to evaluate the effect of pumpkin seeds in reducing parasite loads. Goats were individually penned on solid concrete floors and received a commercially pelleted meat goat feed daily for a 3 week study. Eleven animals were also given ground pumpkin seeds mixed into feed at a rate of 170 g/34.1 kg body weight. The other eleven were not supplemented and used as a control. Overall, under the conditions of this study, pumpkin seeds were not effective in reducing FEC in meat goat kids. However, the method of administration (grinded pumpkin seeds) might not have been the most effective treatment method because the goats failed to consume all the seeds fed and sorted quite a bit. Therefore, year two’s study will include the use of either a powdered form of pumpkin seeds or a daily drench to ensure that animals consume the correct dose.
A second study at DSU during year one attempted to determine the effectiveness of a single dose of garlic juice in reducing fecal egg counts in grazing meat goat kids. Twenty-three crossbred Boer goat kids were used in this study. Twelve animals received garlic juice while the remaining 11 were left untreated. The third study was done at UMES where eighteen Katahdin ewe lambs were placed in individual pens and given either garlic juice (8 lambs) or water (8 lambs) daily for 3 weeks. In both studies, garlic failed to reduce fecal egg counts in sheep and goats. Based on these results, different doses will be tried in year two and studies will be done for at least 28 days to confirm that garlic fails to control internal parasites.
During year two (DSU), thirty naturally infected Boer crossbred kids (mixed sex) were assigned randomly and treated (n = 10/treatment) with water (control), 6 ounces pumpkin seed drench/75lbs (PUM) or 3g ginger/kg (GIN). Treatments were administered orally to individually penned animals (4 x 4 ft) every other day starting at d 0 and ending on d 40 to determine effects on body weights, fecal egg counts, packed cell volume, and larval identification. All treatment groups received a 15% pelleted ration for goats (Southern States) fed at 3% of their BW daily for the study period of 6 weeks. Body weights, blood and fecal samples were taken weekly for the study period. Blood samples were collected to determine packed cell volume (PCV) and fecal samples were shipped to Louisiana State University to determine fecal egg counts as well as larval identification by treatment. At the end of the study, all animals were slaughtered and abomasal worm samples were collected for future counting. In addition, loin samples were frozen to determine the impact of pumpkin seeds and ginger on meat quality and fatty acid composition in the future. By the end of the study, fecal egg counts were lower for both the ginger and pumpkin seed groups compared to the control group. However, six kids had to be dewormed in the ginger group while three were dewormed in the control group due to having packed cell volumes < 15% (indicative of anemia). Additional studies using ginger and pumpkin seeds will be conducted during year three to further evaluate the efficacy of these natural dewormers.
Also during year two (UMES), 22 naturally infected Boer crossbred kids (20 kg) were randomly assigned and treated (n = 12/treatment/species) with water (control) or 6g papaya seeds /kg body weight diluted in water. Treatments were administered orally to individually penned animals every other day starting at d 0 and ending on d 21 to determine effects on body weights and fecal egg counts. All treatment groups received a 15% pelleted ration for goats (Southern States) fed at 3% of their BW daily for the study period of 3 weeks. Body weights and fecal samples were taken weekly for the study period. At the end of the study, all animals were slaughtered and loin samples were frozen to determine the impact of papaya seeds on meat quality and fatty acid composition in the future. The initial study period for this experiment was 6 weeks, however, due to increased fecal egg counts in all kids, regardless of treatment, the study had to be discontinued. Papaya seeds administered at this level in this experiment were not effective in reducing fecal egg counts.
These studies so far have indicated that garlic and papaya seeds fail to reduce internal parasites in goats and sheep (garlic only). However, further studies are needed to determine if ginger or pump[kin seeds are effective looking at varying doses and in producer settings.
The results obtained so far will be presented to veterinarians, researchers and extension specialists at the American Association of Animal Science national meeting next summer. In addition, results will be distributed to producers via an article that will be submitted in the Spring 2010 edition of the Wild and Wooly newsletter (formerly Maryland Sheep and Goat Newsletter).
Delaware State University
1200 N Dupont Highway
Dover , DE 19901
Office Phone: 3028576410
Producer and member of LSGPA
Office Phone: 4107262913
DE Goat Producer
Producer and member of Delmarva Goat Association
Office Phone: 3026708194
Delaware State University
1200 N Dupont Highway
Dover, DE 19901
Office Phone: 3028576491
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Office Phone: 2255789652
Associate Professor/Extension Specialist
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, MD 21853
Office Phone: 4106516194
Sheep and Goat Specialist
Western Maryland Research & Education Center
18330 Keedysville Road, Keedysville,
Office Phone: 3014322767