Internal Parasites in Boer Goats
and Meat Goats
are a lot more vulnerable
to internal parasites (worms
in the intestinal tract) than other species of livestock. Internal
are a major problem when raising goats in warm wet climates. In these
climates internal parasites are the primary cause of death in goats. If
live in such an area we highly recommend you learn as much as possible
management practices for reducing internal parasite problems. There are
excellent publications available free of charge on the internet. One is
published by Langston University
Another is published by the National Sustainable Agriculture
Service at http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/parasitesheep.html.
The third one is published by Dr. Joan Burk, USDADale Bumpers
and is available at http://www.attra.org/downloads/goat_barber_pole.pdf.
The fourth one is published by Ann Wells, DVM, Springpond Holistic
Health, and is available at http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/livestockipm.html.
you plan to raise goats in a warm wet climate, we recommend that you
and study all four of these publications. Study them over and over
because repetition is the key to learning... The information given in
article is based on a few things we have learned from our 45 years
raising goats in Northern Arkansas.
It is not
intended to be complete for your situation. That is why we strongly
urge you to
read and study the above four publications.
Research done at Langston
University in Oklahoma, at the Dale Bumpers USDA Research Station in Arkansas, and
at Heifer Project
international in Arkansas has shown that Serecia Lespedeza and Chicory
control Internal parasites in goats. Based on our experience
that Hop Clover, Korean Lespedeza, Crab Grass, Green Pine Needles, and
also help to control worms in goats, but scientific data is not yet
on these plants. We are sure that there are many other plants out there
we do not know about, that help with parasite control. Goats will eat
plants readily but only Hop Clover, Crab Grass, and Acorns will survive
heavily stocked goat pastures. Since cattle do not eat many of these
running both cattle and goats together is a good way to insure their
and to reduce parasite problems in both the cattle and the goats.
parasites that infect cattle will not infect goats and those which
will not infect cattle.
Research done by
researchers at Fort Valley State
State University, the Dale Bumpers USDA
Research Station in
show that sericea lespedeza
hay is also an effective wormer for goats. Back in the 1960’s when we
moved to northern Arkansas
some of our neighbors who had milked goats in the 1940’s and 1950’s
claimed that one could not keep goats healthy without sericea lespedeza
Back then little was known about internal parasites in goats and no
worm medications were available. In the late 1960’s we found that our
goats seemed to milk better on sericea lespedeza hay and hop clover hay
they did on alfalfa hay.
As mentioned earlier common
sericea lespedeza will not survive when grassed intensively. Auburn
and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station have recently released
variety of sericea lespedeza called AU Grazer. AU Grazer can tolerate
or frequent clipping and has thinner and more pliable stems. This
make young, tender and more nutritious forage available to animals,
with less likelihood
of loosing the stand from over grazing. However, we have not had an
to try it under our pasture conditions. Sericea lespedeza has also been
to reduce methane emission in goats 30 to 57% depending on how it is
and water tanks should
be built in such a way that
goats can not contaminate their feed or water with their droppings or
feet. The feet of goats always contain droppings. See our article on
for details on how to do this. When water tanks are frozen over in the
goats will contaminate the ice with their feet, looking for water. The
to prevent this is to not let the water tanks freeze. This is also
prevent renal calculi (kidney stones) in bucks and withers.
twelve years of experience in
breeding full blood Boers has
shown us that the heritability of resistance to internal parasites in
goats is much greater than we originally thought it would be. We have
great progress in improving our herd for this trait. When we first started breeding Boer goats twelve
years ago, we did not worm more than three times per year. Over the
years we have achieved enough genetic improvement for parasite
we now worm only once per year. Individual Boer goats which require
frequent worming are culled. If one worms too often, one is breeding
worms, not superior goats.
the Kiko breed of goat
originated in New Zealand
which has a warm, wet climate many Kiko breeders insist that Kikos are
resistant to internal parasites than Boers. This might possibly be
looking at averages, but some of the research done trying to prove this
flawed. No person who has a basic understanding of population genetics,
biometrics, and the history of these two breeds would even try to prove
thing. Both of these breeds were developed very recently by crossing
diverse types of goats. Very little line breeding has been done within
breed to fix certain traits. Thus the differences between individual
within each of these breeds for resistance to parasites are much
the differences between the breeds. Most of the Kiko breeders in our
worming their Kikos more often than we worm our full blood Boer goats.
Come Visit Us and See Our Herd
We are located in north
central Arkansas, twenty miles south of Missouri.
Ralph is four miles
south of Yellville, Arkansas, on Highway 14.
We are two miles west
of Ralph on County Road 5040.