A study to determine if anthelmintic-resistant internal parasites exist in Vermont sheep flocks

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2006: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $1,305.00
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Chet Parsons
University of Vermont Extension

Annual Reports


  • Animals: sheep


  • Animal Production: parasite control

    Proposal abstract:

    Vermont Sheep producers are successfully marketing lamb, wool and ewe’s milk cheese. As these markets continue to develop, producers are going to be under more pressure to produce more products. This will result in a higher concentration of sheep and the potential for more internal parasite (IP) infections. Traditionally, IP infections have been controlled with drugs that kill parasites. Continued use of a drug results in IP’s that are resistant to the drug. With a limited number of drugs available and no new ones being developed, it is becoming more important for producers to adapt management strategies that reduce the reliance on drugs. This study will do an initial study to determine if drug resistant internal parasites presently exist on Vermont sheep farms and will provide workshops that will teach producers management programs that reduce drug use.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Five percent of the sheep in four participating flocks will be identified and weighed three weeks after they have been on pasture (approximately June 1, 2006). A rectal fecal sample will be taken, by digital manipulation, at that time. All sheep will be treated with the anthelmintic that the producer has been using. Those sheep sampled will be recorded. The recommended dose of anthelmintic will be used based on the weight of the animal. Seven days later, a second fecal sample will be taken from the sheep identified and previously treated.

    Fecal samples will be placed in zip lock baggies, placed on ice in the field, and refrigerated until shipped on ice. All fecal samples will be sent to Myers Parasitology Services in Magnolia, Kentucky, for fecal examination and FEC for gastrointestinal nematodes (IP). Results of the FEC will be shared with respective producers and recommendations will be made on their future management methods.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.