The Use of Controlled Grazing, Chicory Pasture and Herbal Treatments to Prevent Parasitism in Sheep and Goats, Phase II

2008 Annual Report for OS08-044

Project Type: On-Farm Research
Funds awarded in 2008: $14,941.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Ann Wells
Heifer Ranch

The Use of Controlled Grazing, Chicory Pasture and Herbal Treatments to Prevent Parasitism in Sheep and Goats, Phase II

Objectives/Performance Targets

Through the SARE funded on-farm research project titled “The Use of Controlled Grazing and Two Herbal Treatments to Prevent Parasitism in Sheep and Goats,” Heifer Ranch documented the benefits related to controlled grazing techniques in preventing parasitism and herbal treatments (garlic juice and papaya) for treating parasites in sheep and goats. We found that high rainfall areas, such as occurred in the summer of 2007 caused a much higher risk of parasitism which necessitated the need for greater management. With higher rainfall, the garlic was not as effective as it had been in the previous two years of use when there was very droughty periods during the summer months. However, even in the higher rainfall periods this year, the rotational grazing portion of the trial on all farms involved in this project successfully prevented high levels of parasitism in the sheep and goats.
The discovery by one of the cooperating farmers of multiple anthelmintic resistance occurring in her flock, greatly illustrated the necessity of finding some other effective treatment. We also found that the grazing of a chicory pasture improved the health of grazed animals but didn’t have a measurable effect on fecal egg counts and FAMACHA scores. Papaya seeds also decreased death loss, but too few animals needed treatment to fully understand its effect.

As a result of these findings, we feel there is a need for further testing of both the management strategies of controlled grazing and use of a chicory (Cichorium intybus) pasture as well as additional trials on two alternative treatments. These treatments are papaya seeds, and garlic juice with green walnut hulls added. We have seen the benefits of controlled or management intensive grazing which has provided a good management strategy for preventing parasitism in many sheep and goats. But we need to have some side by side trials of continuously grazed pasture along with controlled grazing to quantify that benefit. Certain pasture plants have anthelmintic properties. How often and for how long livestock need to graze on these plants remains to be fully determined.


Paul Casey
Farm Manager
Heifer Ranch
55 Heifer Road
Perryville, AR 76126
Office Phone: 6018895124
Ron Banks

Rt 1
Okemah, OK 74859
Frank and Shirley Butler
33490 E 653 Rd
Chouteau, OK 74337