Effects of feeding sericea lespedeza hay to goats infected with Haemonchus contortus

Author: S.A. Shaik, T.H. Terrill, J.E. Miller, B. Kouakou, G. Kannan, R.K. Kallu and J.A. Mosjidis
Year: 2004
Issue: 5
Volume: 34
Page: 248 - 250

Infection with gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) is a primary constraint to economic goat production in the southern USA. Anthelmintic resistance is highly prevalent in goat nematodes in this region, and non-chemical control methods are needed. Grazing of forages containing condensed tannins (CT) or feeding purified CT as part of the diet has shown potential for reducing parasite egg counts in faeces of sheep and goats, but little information is available on feeding hay from CT-containing forages. The anthelmintic potential of sericea lespedeza [Lespedeza cuneata (Dum-Cours.) G. Don] hay was evaluated in an 8-week feeding trial with goats. Twenty yearling Spanish-cross does were given a single challenge of 10,000 Haemonchus contortus infective (L3) larvae to boost their naturally acquired parasite load. After three weeks grazing, the does were moved to pens (5 animals per pen) and fed either ground sericea or bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] hay diets (treatment n = 10) balanced for crude protein and energy with a small amount of supplement. All 20 does were fed the bermudagrass diet for a 1-week adjustment period, after which two pens of animals were switched to the sericea diet for four weeks (trial period). All the does were then fed the bermudagrass diet for an additional three weeks. Throughout the experiment worm egg counts (FEC; faecal egg count) were done weekly for each doe. Egg shedding was similar between the two groups prior to feeding the treatment diets, significantly lower in sericea-fed goats during the 4-week trial period, and again similar during the 3-week post-trial period. Feeding sericea lespedeza hay to goats reduced nematode egg shedding and may have potential to reduce pasture contamination from GIN larvae.

Keywords: Condensed tannins, goats, Haemonchus contortus, sericea lespedeza
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