Using copper oxide wire particles or sericea lespedeza to prevent peri-parturient gastrointestinal nematode infection in sheep and goats

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Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) continue to plague the small ruminant industry, especially in parts of the world with warm, humid climates. Alternatives to chemicals are needed for GIN control because of anthelmintic resistance and a desire to reduce chemical residues in meat products. Three experiments using peri-parturient does or ewes addressed the objective: 1) in Arkansas, meat goats were untreated (n= 20) or fed copper oxide wire particles (COWP; 2. g each) in pelleted sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata; n= 22) before kidding while consuming sericea lespedeza hay, 2) in Arkansas, 42 Katahdin ewes were randomly assigned to remain untreated or were fed COWP (2. g each) before lambing within groups fed bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) or sericea lespedeza hay in a 2 × 2 factorial design, 3) in Louisiana, Gulf Coast Native ewes were randomly assigned to remain untreated or were fed COWP (4. g each) in a pelleted ration (n= 10 each) after lambing began. Fecal egg counts (FEC) and blood packed cell volume (PCV) were determined weekly in all experiments, and coproculture to examine GIN species was conducted in the first two experiments. Haemonchus contortus is typically the predominant GIN in the southeastern U.S., even during cooler months. However, Trichostrongylus spp. was the predominant GIN in Arkansas during these experiments. In all of the experiments, feeding COWP led to a reduction in FEC, but no change in PCV. The sericea lespedeza hay fed to ewes in Experiment 2 was associated with a reduction in FEC compared with ewes fed bermudagrass hay. Kids and lambs from COWP-treated dams in two experiments were lighter than those from untreated dams. Sericea lespedeza aided in the control of GIN infection, and while feeding COWP to peri-parturient ewes and does offered some reduction in GIN infection, body weight of offspring at birth and 60 or 90. days of age may be reduced. © 2010.

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Livestock Science

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