Grazing sericea lespedeza for control of gastrointestinal nematodes in lambs

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Alternatives to chemical dewormers are needed to counter anthelmintic resistance and improve worm control in organic management systems. The objective was to examine the effectiveness of grazing sericea lespedeza (SL) compared with grass pastures for control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in lambs. In Experiment 1, Katahdin lambs grazed bermudagrass (BG; n=14), tall fescue (TF; n=7), or SL (n=19) pastures during early summer months. In Experiment 2, lambs grazed TF (n=15) or SL (n=13) pastures during late summer. Stocking rate of pastures was based on forage availability; additional lambs grazed pastures in Experiment 2, but were not sampled. Lambs were dewormed with 0.5g COWP if FAMACHA © score was >3. In Experiment 1, FEC were reduced within 35 days in SL compared with BG lambs (forage by time, P=0.03). The PCV was more resilient to changes over time in SL compared with other groups of lambs (forage by time, P=0.001). In Experiment 2, FEC were lower (P=0.02) and PCV tended to be higher (P=0.09) in lambs grazing SL compared with TF forage. Incidence of deworming was similar among forage groups in both experiments. Grazing SL reduced FEC in lambs in early and late summer, despite reluctance by lambs to graze. Grazing forage and selective deworming using COWP was effective in lambs. © 2011 .

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Veterinary Parasitology

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