Monday, September 3, 2012

A comparision of parasite data

The graphs below compare the average fecal egg counts (epg) and average FAMACHA© scores of the test goats (n=49) vs. the study goats: pasture (n=15) vs. pen (n=15).

All three groups started with high average egg counts and similar FAMACHA© scores. After the very effective triple deworming (with moxidectin, albendazole, and levamisole) on June 2, egg counts were reduced to practically zero. On June 21, the test goats were dosed with 1,000 anthelmintic-susceptible Haemonchus contortus larvae (L3). None of the goats in the pen vs. pasture study were given the larvae.

As the summer has progressed, both fecal egg counts and FAMACHA© scores have been increasing for the goats on pasture. As would be expected, the goats in the pen have had lower egg counts and lower FAMACHA© scores. This is because pen-raised goats do not have a ready source of worm infection or re-infection, as grazing is usually the route by which animals ingest infective worm larvae.

#9 (Burke) is meeting the Gold Standards of performance.

It is doubtful that the artificial dosing with larvae had any effect on the health and well-being of the goats, as FAMACHA© scores continued to improve after the dosing. Egg counts increased, but increased similarly for the test and pasture-study goats (which were not dosed). Thus, the artificial larvae did not likely challenge the goats, but perhaps it helped to "seed" the pastures  with infective worm larvae (the intent).