Cattle, sheep and goats are drenched/dewormed to fight internal parasites such as tapeworms, flukes and roundworms.
Drenching is an effective method used to give medicinal treatment orally. Drenches with anthelmintics for deworming sheeps and goats are crucial in controlling worms among these grazing livestock species.
Okorafor et al. (2015) illustrated that small ruminants play a significant role in human nutrition through provision of food (meat and milk) and nonfood (manure and skin) that help fight poverty in communities around the world. However, efficient production is limited due to diseases, theft and recurrent draughts resulting in huge economic losses.
For this reason, implementing anthelmintic prophylaxis allows animals to have better health conditions and not endanger their survival and the one of communities that breed them.
Today’s edition focuses on effectively drenching your goat herd.
Impact of high parasite infestation
- Low fertility
- Reduced feed intake
- Poor weight gain
- Low milk and meat production
- High treatment cost
- High mortality
Commonly used anthelmintics
Steps involved in drenching and deworming goats
- Preset your work station (table) with clean syringes or drench gun prior to handling your animals, follow manufacturer instruction so as not to overdose or underdose your goat herd.
- Restrain goats without causing harm to them, making sure your goat is calm and not jumping
- Gentle open the goat’s mouth
- Place the syringe on the side of the animal’s mouth, over the tongue’s base toward the back of the throat
- Slightly raise the head of the goat and slowly squeeze the plunger with the anthelmintic
- Make sure the goat swallowed the anthelmintic
What to consider for drench deworming goats?
- It is always recommendable to seek advice from veterinarians or animal health technicians prior to administering any anthelmintics
- Underdosing is highly ineffective and may prompt drench resistance, and worm infestation may increase. On the other hand, overdosing can result in poisoning due to excess minerals in drenches, for example selenium.
- Resistance due to use of the same anthelmintic is a serious challenge for most farmers, hence, it is recommendable to change anthelmintics. In doing so, parasite infestation is reduced and the development of resistance is less likely to happen.
- Frequency of drenching depends on your location and available anthelmintics. Seasonal change comes with various parasites, hence, one can drench in the beginning of a season and towards the end of it.
- Observe the withdrawal period as per manufacturer’s instruction after drenching your dairy or meat goats. It is a vital component as excess drench contents may be consumed and be harmful to humans.
- Some farmers do random fecal sampling which are sent to the laboratory for analysis in order to determine the parasite load in a herd. Moreover, after successfully drenching a farmer would expect a reduction in fecal egg counts.
Preventive measures to avoid the parasitics infestation
- Minimize overstocking goats in paddocks, set up ideal housing and practice good hygiene, for example raking fecal matter near feed or water troughs
- Practice rational grazing; in case one paddock is contaminated a farmer is able to make use of other paddocks
- Guarantee adequate grazing or browse material and supplementary feed such as hay, silage or commercial pellets and sufficient water at all times
- Always keep an eye on the frequency of treatments and the health of the animal through a Farm Management tool.
- Immediately isolate sick animals or animals presenting symptoms of parasitic infection.
In conclusion, drenching is good exercise for a goat farmer, as it improves herd health. Therefore, following each step when drenching ensures success.
- Okorafor, U. P., Obebe, O. O., Unigwe, C. R., Atoyebi, T. J., & Ogunleye, O. K. (2015). Studies on the gut parasites of small ruminants reared in some selected farms in Ido local government area, Oyo state, Nigeria. Applied research journal, 1(3), 153-159.
- Anthelmintics (drenches) for sheep, goats and alpacas
- Drenching Programs for Goats
- Wormwise for Goats
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