Thursday, July 11, 2013

Continuing Parasite Problems

Consistent with increasing fecal egg counts, but despite 25 goats being dewormed two weeks ago, FAMACHA© scores continued to worsen and more than half the goats were dewormed with either levamisole (Prohibit) or moxidectin (Cydectin).

Current weather conditions (warmth + moisture) are ideal for parasite development, especially Haemonchus. Under these conditions, FAMACHA© scores can change quickly in a young goat; thus, all goats with FAMACHA© scores of 3 were dewormed.

If it was the first time a goat required deworming, levamisole was administered at 1.5x the sheep dose. If a goat had been dewormed previously with levamisole, it was given moxidectin at 2x the sheep dose.

Deworming with levamisole seems to be effective, as the goats dewormed on June 27 improved their FAMACHA© scores by an average of 1.3 scores. Those with FAMACHA© scores of 4 or 5 had an even larger improvement of almost 1.7 scores.

On July 11, FAMACHA© scores ranged from 1 to 5 and averaged 2.9 + 0.9, compared to 2.6 + 0.9 on June 27. The median FAMACHA© score was 3. Only one goat had a FAMACHA© score of 1. All six of the goats with FAMACHA© scores of 5 had FAMACHA© scores of 3 on June 27, but had not been dewormed.

Other scores
Body condition, coat condition, dag, and fecal consistency scores remained relatively unchanged. Median scores continue to be 2, 2, 0, and 4, respectively. While dag scores (fecal soiling) can sometimes remain positive, most goats with diarrhea recover in a few days. The negative aspect of diarrhea is that a fecal sample can usually not be obtained.

Eight goats had FAMACHA© scores of 4.

Goats fail to gain weight
The continuing parasite challenge is likely responsible for the lack of gain, as there is ample forage. Sixty percent (n=46) of the goats lost weight during this second weigh period and 31 percent (n=24) have failed to gain any weight during the first 28 days of the test.

For the second weigh period, gain (loss) ranged from -5.6 to 5.4 lbs. and averaged -0.6 + 2.18 lbs. The median gain (loss) was -0.80 lbs. For the past 14 days, ADG ranged from -0.40 to 0.39 lbs. per day and averaged -0.044 + 0.16 lbs. per day. The median average daily gain (loss) was -0.06 lbs. per day.  For the period, the top-gaining goat was #345 (Nelson, MD).  This goat likely experienced some compensatory gain after receiving an effective anthelmintic treatment on June 27.

For the first 28 days of the test, the average gain has been less than 1 lb. (0.7 lbs.) per goat. Average daily gain is ranging from -0.17 to 0.23 lbs. per day and averaging 0.030 + 0.09. So far, the top gaining bucks in the test are #'s 303 (Adams, IL) and 375 (Weber, IL). They are gaining 0.233 and 0.225 lbs. per day, respectively.

Goats move into sorghum pasture.

Clean pasture

The goats were moved to clean pasture today. The four acres of dwarf sorghum should provide at least four weeks of good quality grazing, with limited opportunity for parasite reinfection. The central laneway will pose the greatest risk to the grazing goats. Hopefully, this scenario will allow the goats to rebuild their FAMACHA scores and make some meaningful gains.

Download July 11 (d-28) Report