August 2015 Issue

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Subscribe FREE now! Monthly issues with new articles and other educational information on meat goat health, nutrition, and management written by Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch and Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Neither Suzanne Gasparotto nor Pat Cotten are veterinarians. None of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

WORM CONTROL IN PASTURES

Goat producers often ask me if there is something they can spray on their pastures to control and/or kill the barberpole stomach worm (Haemonchus contortus) that feeds on blood, causes anemia, and can kill goats.

The simple answer is NO. Here is why:

While it might be possible to develop some type of pasture application to reduce worm larvae, a lot of worm larvae remain in the feces (goat "pills"), oftentimes for weeks (when rain is scarce), where they would be protected from any pasture treatment.

Due to environmental concerns, it is not a good idea to use a long-lasting agent like DDT or Round-Up, which is what would be necessary to continually kill the larvae as they emerge from the feces in the pasture. In addition, resistance to the agent would develop faster.

A short-acting agent (more eco-friendly) would have to be applied repeatedly, perhaps once a week, and this would be both labor- and cost-prohibitive for most goat raisers. Both ground and aerial application are expensive.

Finally, the worm population in the goats will continue to add contamination to the pasture, making this concept neither practical nor affordable.

My thanks to Dr. James Miller, Parasitologist at Louisiana State University, for assistance in preparing and compiling the information contained above.

Here are some suggestions that come from me:

What you can do to try to improve your pasture conditions is to shred it to a height of 5 to 6 inches. Goats aren't going to eat the tall grasses (except when they have seeds) because they are less digestible, but will instead go directly to ground level to eat the tender new growth -- right where the worms are waiting to make a quick trip into your goat's rumen. Allow the sun's rays to dry the ground by mowing the tall grasses down to five or six inches. This won't eliminate worms, especially if you you have too many goats, but it will help the pastures dry out and hopefully reduce the bacterial count that can cause diseases like pneumonia. Additionally, new plant growth will be stimulated, producing better quality nutrition. Don't cut the grass blades shorter than five or six inches; if you do, the worms will crawl up the grasses and wait for your goats to ingest them.

Combine pasture mowing with the tried and true management practices of NO OVERCROWDING and keeping pens and paddocks clean and dry. Remember that you populate goats based upon how you can control the worm load -- not on how much there is to eat in the pasture. You determine the correct population by starting with a few goats and increase your numbers slowly as you determine what your land can support.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 8/14/15

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BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

Contact Bending Tree Ranch in Damascus, AR

Contact Pat Cotten
Bending Tree Ranch
located near Greenbrier, Arkansas
501-679-4936

www.bendingtreeranch.com
bendingtreeranch@cyberback.com

Raising TexMasters™, TMG’s™ and Myotonics.
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Bending Tree Ranch is thrilled to announce the export of TMG™/Myotonic genetics in
2009 and 2011 to Canada and most recently in 2013 and again in 2014 to Australia.

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Bending Tree Ranch Red Cloud-genetics exported 2013 Doublejett Gomer's Sargeant-genetics exported 2014

I have finally made my selections for retaining.
Available now buck kids out of Doublejett Gomer's Sargeant.

 

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