Sustainable Control of Gastro-intestinal Nematodes in Small Ruminants

2008 Annual Report for LS05-177

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2005: $250,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Thomas Terrill
Fort Valley State University

Sustainable Control of Gastro-intestinal Nematodes in Small Ruminants


The Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (SCSRPC) met 1 time in 2008, in May at the University of Puerto Rico to review on-going and planned research and outreach activities. A train-the-trainer course with support materials developed by SCSRPC members was unveiled at the meeting, and several hundred copies of the course material were distributed to trainers throughout the USA in 2008. A number of smart drenching and FAMACHA workshops were completed by SCSRPC members during 2008, with over 5000 FAMACHA cards sold for on-farm use in the USA, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. A series of producer workshops on establishment and management of sericea lespedeza were completed in 2008. The results of previous research was presented at a number of different national and international meetings, and several additional scientific and producer-oriented papers were published from this work in 2008. Hits on our project web site ( averaged approximately 60,000 per month in 2008.

Objectives/Performance Targets

1. Increase level of adoption of available sustainable GIN control strategies in the southeastern USA and PR by disseminating state-of-the-art knowledge and procedures, plus conduct cost-benefit analyses of these systems.
2. Investigate use of existing and developing novel non-chemical approaches for controlling GIN in small ruminants.
3. Develop and test sustainable small ruminant parasite control systems integrating conventional and novel GIN control strategies.


Over 5000 FAMACHA cards for on-farm use were sold at producer workshops throughout the southern USA, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands in 2008. Data from a 3-year sericea lespedeza sheep grazing trial in South Africa was presented as part of producer workshops held at Fort Valley State University (FVSU), Auburn University, and Louisiana State University in March, 2008. The presentations were made by a South African sheep and cattle producer who is a member of the SCSRPC and an expert on sericea lespedeza production and management. A videotape was made of the final talk in the series, at FVSU. The videotape is currently being edited to make available as a DVD as part of the train-the-trainer course on parasite management that was developed and implemented by the SCSRPC in 2008. Scientific manuscripts on anthelmintic resistance in goats and sheep in the southern US, growth of young goats fed ground sericea lespedeza, and effect of dietary copper sulfate on gastrointestinal nematode infection in sheep were published in 2008. Scientific presentations based upon the data generated by this project were presented at several national and international meetings in 2008.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The greatest impact of this work continues to be on reducing dependence of producers on expensive chemical dewormers through use of the FAMACHA system of anemia detection. Thousands of producers have been trained in the use of this technology, which allows them to identify and treat only those animals that actually need deworming (generally 10-25% of the herd or flock) while simultaneously reducing development of anthelmintic resistance in the parasites by leaving some of the worms unexposed to the drug. This system also allows producers to identify problem animals that can then be culled, improving overall herd or flock genetics for resistance to parasitic infection. Another area of impact with producers is greatly increased adoption of novel, non-chemical parasite control techniques, including growing and feeding or grazing sericea lespedeza, an anti-parasitic legume, or giving animals copper oxide wire particles in a bolus to kill their worms. Small ruminant producers in the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands are combining these simple, inexpensive, environmentally-friendly techniques with limited use of still-effective anthelmintics in integrated, sustainable parasite control programs, with the result of reduced operating expenses and increased profits.


Mimi Williams

Plant Physiologist
Brooksville, FL
Ray Kaplan

Associate Professor
The University of Georgia
Department of Infectious Diseases
College of Veterinary Medicine
Athens, GA 30602
James Miller
Louisiana State University
Department of Pathobiological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Office Phone: 2255789652
Elide Valencia

University of Puerto Rico
Agronomy Department
P.O. Box 9030
Mayaguez, PR 00681
Joan Burke

Research Animal Scientist
6883 S. State Highway 23
Booneville, AR 72927