Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science (Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Sciences)

Document Type



Sheep production is an important socioeconomic activity for the small producers and it can represent their primary income source. Gastrointestinal parasites have become the principal limiting factor for this industry around the world, especially because of the anthelmintic resistance phenomenon that has been increasing worldwide. The negligent use of anthelmintics has been reported as the main factor in the development of resistance. Among the parasites that infect sheep, H. contortus is considered the most harmful and also the parasite responsible for the fastest development of nematode resistance in small ruminants. Due to the economic impact this parasite may bring upon producers, the search for alternative methods of control has become a necessity. The use of condensed tannin containing forages and copper oxide wired particles have been shown to produce promising results. Studies have shown that both of these control methods can reduce fecal egg counts, worm fecundity, egg hatchability and larvae development of H. contortus. The general objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of inorganic copper and condensed tannins on fecal egg counts of naturally infected animals and consisted of three trials. No significant differences were observed in the trials using condensed tannins as the main effect in parasite control (p>0.05). It was possible to observe that the number of H. contortus larvae decreased in the treated group, but the differences were not significant (p>0.05). A significant difference in fecal egg counts in the inorganic copper trial was observed (p<0.05). The copper oxide group yielded the greater reduction throughout the study (p<0.001). Copper sulfate was able to reduce fecal egg counts but there was no difference between this group and the control group, which did not receive any treatment (p>0.05). The use of condensed tannins did not show reductions in parasite load, but its use should not be discarded especially in areas where the use of anthelmintics is no longer possible. Inorganic copper has been shown to reduce GIN infection and its concomitant use with other control methods may represent a useful tool in controlling parasites.



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Committee Chair

Miller, James E.